Blues in the Big House

Raw footage shot for THE 90's. Raw footage of a concert at Cook County Jail featuring an inmate band and the All Bubba Blues Band. Interviews with members of both bands takes place backstage.

00:00Copy video clip URL Footage of inmate band playing onstage at the Cook County Jail. Chairs of people, mostly women, fill the gym floor, while the bleachers are lined with male inmates.

03:47Copy video clip URL Backstage with a couple of musicians from the All Bubba Blues Band, who discuss other blues musicians who’ve played at the jail, including B.B. King.

06:30Copy video clip URL The All Bubba Blues Band takes the stage and tunes up. They are introduced by a man onstage with them: Ron Shanaver, Buzz Kilman, Allan, Luis the “South American Soul Man,” and Bubba Goldsby. Various shots of the band and crowd, including an officer who is clapping his hands while keeping guard.

17:35Copy video clip URL Backstage with the inmate band, who talk about their experiences. They talk about their practice time, their offenses that got them time, and their plans for when they get released.

19:20Copy video clip URL A correctional officer, who is also a band member, describes his experience of playing in a band with inmates.

20:10Copy video clip URL Interview continues with the lead singer of the band, who talks about his past as a singer in a street band, how he got caught up in selling narcotics, his dreams, their various other gigs, and how he feels when singing onstage. He compliments his fellow band members.

23:44Copy video clip URL Another band member says that when he gets out, he hopes to bring a message to the young people to stay away from drugs and illegal activity.

24:10Copy video clip URL Singer says that it’s possible to bring the message to young people but that it needs to come in their own language and level of intellect. He notes that rap is the medium that is best to use with them. He talks about his eclectic taste in music as well.

26:40Copy video clip URL He speaks about his previous offenses, noting that he’s been in jail six times, hasn’t done any violent crime, and that he has used his intellect to get money from credit cards or bad checks. He also comments on how people sometimes need the prison environment because they’re “locked up in their minds outside.”

28:40Copy video clip URL “I hope I’m too intelligent to stay up in here.” Harold talks about how he has to clean his own area before he goes out to change anyone else, but that his heart is in trying to help other people. He goes on to talk about religion and says that he’s studying the Muslim religion. He speaks about hypocrisy in Christianity.

31:10Copy video clip URL They introduce themselves: Harold Ward, Marvin Derrel Mixon, and Paul Darnell Mixon, who are brothers, were arrested together, and are roommates.

31:32Copy video clip URL Cut back to the stage with band jamming to “Little Wing” as the inmates file their way out of the auditorium.

32:45Copy video clip URL End of tape.



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