This morning a bad storm is rolling over Crisfield. This always makes my migraines, arthritis and neuropathy scream. I was randomly surfing the web to take my mind off the pain and I discovered some news from way back in April. Gene Shay, a Philadelphia DJ who hosted a folk music program on WHYY when I was a teenager, died of Covid-19.
For about five solid years I spent every Sunday night with my one semi-functional ear to a boombox speaker. The radio would be tuned to Gene’s show. I would have my finger on the record button, ready to spring into action the moment Gene played a good song
I can still remember the night I heard Mississippi John Hurt sing Coffee Blues on his show.
I drove Gene Shay Crazy. I would call his show complaining about the songs I did not care about and making requests for every song I had read about in music books. It got so bad that when I finally met Gene in person at a convention twenty years ago his face contorted into a knot, tightening into a moue of displeasure until he moaned, “Oh God! It’s YOU!” before running away.
Goodbye, Gene. Thanks for the music. You will be missed.