1976 – Jimmy Reed dies

One of the most influential bluesmen of all time, Martin James “Jimmy” Reed’s professional career spanned four decades, not including a brief interuption for his wartime service with the US Navy in World War Two. His best known songs are Baby What You Want Me To Do, Bright Lights, Big City and Big Boss Man – the last of which gave Reed the nickname he would be known by to fans.

Reed was never as successful as many of his contempories, but he was frequently covered by other artists and his music influenced many more. Elvis covered Big Boss Man in his ’68 Comeback Special, and the Rolling Stones have cited Reed as one of the major influences on their own music. In 1991, 25 years after his death, Reed was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Referenced in:

Woke Up This Morning – Alabama 3

2005 – Hurricane Katrina destroys much of New Orleans

At 6:10AM on the morning of August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made a landfall on the Louisiana coast near Buras-Triumph. After moving along the coast, it made another landfall near the border of Louisiana and Mississippi. Hurricane Katrina was the most destructive natural disaster to strike the United States in recorded history. The confirmed death toll was 1836 (in May 2006), however this is a conversative estimate, and does not include more than 700 people missing, nor indirect deaths.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency displayed a level of incompetence that was close to unbelievable. The level of it was such that corruption or deliberate malice seemed more likely explanation, just as this song suggests:

Referenced in:

George Bush Don’t Like Black People – The Legendary K.O.