Big John T-Bone Little Entertains As Big As Always
One thing is for sure, the heart of Big John T-Bone Little beats to the sound of music at all times, probably even in his sleep.
T-Bone entertained patrons of the Canalside Restaurant June 30 and while his beginnings were in the country music arena, today he revels in “ a bit of jazz, blues, rhythm and blues, rock and soul,” as well as the country sound he loves.
Now residing in the Maritimes, T-Bone grew up in Niagara but he still has family here and he plans to stick around for a while, visiting.
A quote from www.52insaintjohn.com, says it well:
“Saint John is not a land with a lot of legitimate Bluesmen, but Big John Little is 100 per cent the real deal. John has been entertaining Saint John audiences with his guitar playing, vocal performance, humor, and an unwavering passion for all things music for over 60 years.”
His great-grandfather, James, escaping from Mississippi, came to Canada through the Underground Railroad to settle in Welland and is documented in the Norval Johnson Heritage Centre’s Community Memories, a tribute to Niagara’s Proud Black history.
T-Bone’s roots through his great-grandfather include English, German and Mohawk Native roots, giving him a rich legacy of musical styles and heartbeats that began with playing guitar in his lap when his Uncle Dick came to visit the family in his Packard.
His deep vocal tones and musical talent together with a warm, engaging personality began with growing up right here in Niagara, fishing in Dunnville bulrushes, yearly celebrations at Port Dalhousie’s Emancipation Dinners bringing his lifelong career as one that has stretched across Canada and the U.S., a career that has shared the path with the likes of Conway Twitty and B.B. King, just to name a few.
T-Bone has enjoyed a life that has taken him miles and miles from his youthful days of enjoying his first steak dinner with the proceeds of his labour at his first job with a Niagara Falls ice company.
Today, there’s a stretch of property in the Maritimes he calls home and, reportedly, a couple of Cadillacs and trucks in the driveway.
“Remember the dance halls?” he asks.
“I think those were the times when we had the most fun.”
Daughter, Lana, started a Facebook Page for her father where one can follow his tour itinerary:
Stay tuned for more details on T-Bone’s Niagara visit.
Photos by Heidi Grzesina, Marylou Dagenais and submissions from Big John T-Bone Little