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  The 2004 Oliver Sain Tribute

Photos by STLBlues
Soulard Blues band
Soulard Blues band
Rich McDonough
Les Moore
Photos by Lady Di
Billy Peek
Fontella Bass
Blues Guitar
Uvee Hayes
On October 17th, 2004, a 'Who's Who' of Blues musicians gathered at the Pageant to pay tribute to Oliver Sain, the Man with the Golden Horn. Featured entertainers included Little Milton, Fontella Bass, Oliver Sain Revue, the Soulard Blues Band, Skeet Rogers, Renee Smith, Uvee Hayes, and so many more!

In case you somehow weren't familiar with this legendary man, here's a synopsis:

Born in Dundee, MS. in 1932, it was almost inevitable that Oliver would become a musician. His stepfather was pianist Willie Love, and his grandfather was guitarist Dan Sane, a partner of Frank Stokes in the Beale Street Sheiks (the difference in spelling of the surname resulted from a birth certificate error). His early days in music consisted of sitting in on sessions with legendary artists such as Sonny Boy Williamson, and Howlin' Wolf.

Saxophone player, band leader, songwriter, producer, studio owner and all-around St. Louis music legend, Sain has been making music since the late 1940s."I came in 1959 to play a weekend with Little Milton, and I've been stranded here ever since." Read our interview here!

Here's an excerpt from a Post Dispatch article on Oliver:

The Man with the Golden Horn is how many referred to Sain. Others called him St. Louis' Ambassador of Rhythm & Blues. Tom "Papa" Ray, president of Vintage Vinyl, is among those who called him the Quincy Jones of St. Louis.

David Clark, a fan of Sain's, considered him an "instant addiction" after discovering his music at BB's several years ago. "Once I heard him, I couldn't get enough of him," says Clark. "I told everyone I knew, 'You have to see Oliver Sain' And anytime I had friends in town, going to see him was like part of a tour."

Some of St. Louis' music legends - Miles Davis, Chuck Berry, Ike Turner - are widely heralded. Sain's contributions won't draw comparable attention nationally, but he was no less of a musical gem. He wasn't a star in the traditional sense - recognized on the street by the wider public - but he contributed many sparkling moments under the spotlight, and his talents were large and varied. Many knew Sain was a sizzler with a saxophone, as his Thursday-night gig at BB's demonstrated weekly. But he was equally adept as a keyboardist, a bandleader, producer, arranger and writer.

Many might remember Sain for songs such as "Bus Stop," "Party Hearty," "Soul of a Man," "Feel Like Dancing" and "Booty Bumpin" - the latter a song whose title sounds as if it might have been recorded today. In fact, Sain's work remained relevant to contemporary artists. Puff Daddy (now P. Diddy), for example, sampled his "On the Hill" on the cut "Young G's" from the 1997 CD "No Way Out" (a use that Sain has said paid him handsomely).

Sain not only helped put artists such as Fontella Bass, Ann Peebles and Bobby McClure on the map, artists as diverse as the Allman Brothers Band, Loretta Lynn, Chaka Khan and Conway Twitty have recorded his music....continued here!

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