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Ohhhhh! That Micki Jay.... She Knows How To Put The Pot On... A

The Hanover County area is indeed fortunate to have a Blues and Jazz Lady like Micki Jay in the house to help your music and jazz scene break through to the real nitty gritty. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor even Ooobleck could ever deter her from promoting or bopping any live soulful sounds anywhere, anytime. So I wasn't surprised to read that she would weather any warm drizzle to hear great music. It's great to know that the only way she has changed over the years is to improve and get even better. I owe a great debt to The Jay Bird. We go back quite sometime. We were fortunate enough to grow up in a kind of magical town at a magical time. The town was Hillside, NJ -- the home of Lionel Trains, Ipana Toothpaste, and Phil Rizzuto. The time was the year of JFK's election and my graduation from Hillside High School. Micki Jay was still back in 4th or 5th grade as I recall. One day while passing her house I heard some new sounds I had not run across before. My taste in music was becoming quite eclectic at that time. Johnny Mathis and Harry Belafonte were high on my list... as were show tunes... the Great American Songbook... and, of course, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, The Cadillacs, Coasters, Platters, etc., etc. and so forth. But there was Micki The Jay Bird sitting on the front stoop with her little Webcor Box propped up in front of her open living room window, and she's listening to Joe Williams' new LP, "A Man Ain't Supposed To Cry." I can't remember the cut. It might have been "I Keep Going Back To Joe's" or maybe "Angel Eyes." That part's a blur. What still isn't a blur is this little girl entranced by a voice I had never heard, and captivated me right away... as it would have anyone with Big Ears at that time. The Jay Bird was already one of the leaders of the pack in that regard, as I was soon to find out. I walk up the walk and ask her about the music. Quickly she shows me the album cover. She had just finished reading it. I was interested and amused. I asked, "What else do you have in your trick bag?" (I really didn't say it quite that way. I didn't learn that expression until several years later.) Anyway, she went into her house and came out with a dozen or so more jazz albums... Oscar Peterson, Miles, Horace Silver, Coltrane, Art Blakey... it all blew me away... from a ten-year-old, no less Years later she introduced me to a local piano genius named Morris Nanton who I continue to see locally in NJ. And The Jay Bird and I have remained in touch, off and on, coming onto 50 years. All I can say is what I said before ... The Jay Bird may not be able to play, but she sure can cook... and Hanover County is very lucky to have her in the house and on the scene supporting and promoting the real deal and the real sounds. "The Jay Bird Lives!" "Long Live The Jay Bird!!" I love ya, Micki. Just keep on chooglin'! Alan E. by way of Hillside, NJ. Thanks for reading.

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