This is the only part about doing this blog I hate. . .
Having to convey sad, tragic news about a New Orleans artist. But I want you to know so that you can send your best good energy, thoughts, and prayers to Willie Tee, Wilson Turbinton, who is currently hospitalized in New Orleans diagnosed with a rapidly advancing terminal illness.
You may recall that Tee just laid his brother, Earl, to rest about a month ago; and I featured several songs in a tribute post about Earl that you can still access by scrolling down. So this is indeed a shock. A few days ago, I was contacted by a friend and collaborator of this amazing musician, composer and vocalist, who told me that Tee had gone into the hospital for what seemed like a routine operation. While in surgery, doctors discovered the much more serious condition, which had already gone beyond treatment. Last I heard, his family was with him at the hospital. Steve Masakowki of Astral Project announced this news on Pat Jolly's listserv in New Orleans Friday and was asking readers to take a moment for collective prayers for Tee that evening. As far as I know, the Turbinton family itself has not made any official statement about any of this. So, if I have any facts wrong, please forgive me.
I will set aside my upcoming post selections and prepare some new ones and link-backs to old ones related to Willie Tee's career. This news is certainly another blow to the music community of New Orleans, which is still struggling to regain its rhythm, hold the scattered and damaged cultural remants together, and heal. Willie Tee exemplifies the creative, complex and independent spirit of the city's music makers (although he was still displaced, living in Baton Rouge). He has much more to give to his city and the world. And it's simply too soon to lose him. So, expect a miracle.