Clifford Antone Brought Austin the Blues

Austin blues impresario Clifford Antone has died. Many great acts took the stage under Antone's aegis. We hear a selection of memorable performances, in tribute to Antone.

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If you're in Austin and want to hear the blues, just about anybody can tell you where to go: to Antone's, Austin's home of the blues.

Mr. CLIFFORD ANTONE (Antone's): These are the people that have made our club a long time before most people we're even in Austin. I'd like to thank everybody for being here tonight.

WERTHEIMER: This week, blues impresario and Antone founder, Clifford Antone, died in Austin at the age 56. Mr. Antone's club opened in 1975. He helped to launch the careers of musicians like Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Fabulous Thunderbirds.

It was the place to play when real deal blues artists came to town. Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy, James Cotton, Albert Colin(ph), Otis Rush, they all performed and sometimes recorded at the club.

Clifford Antone had his own blues though. He served two federal prison terms for drugs and money laundering and eventually had to give up ownership of the club. But Mr. Antone was known among musicians as a generous soul. Most recently, he organized a benefit for Katrina victims and arranged for nursing care and an apartment for 92-year-old bluesman Pinetop Perkins.

Let's listen now to some of the acts recorded live at Antone's.

(Soundbite of music)

WERTHEIMER: Jimmy Reed, Buddy Guy, James Cotton and Eddie Taylor all recorded live at Antone's in Austin. Clifford Antone died this week at the age of 56.

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