Jerry “Boogie” McCain is among the greatest post war harp players alive today. He remains at the height of his powers, constantly writing and delivering amazing live performances with the energy of a teenager. Born in 1930 in Gadsden, Alabama, Jerry began playing his harp and singing along with jukebox records at his fathers barbecue stand, the Green Front Cafe.
How We Helped:
Since joining the Music Maker family in 1995, “Boogie” has received monthly grants for medicine and food, an emergency relief grant after a car accident, and the opportunity to record 3 CDs. Music Maker has also helped him arrange shows at Portsmouth Blues Festivals, and he is featured in the book Music Makers: Portraits and Songs from the Roots of America.
He began recording in the early 1950s for the Trumpet label, making records of his unique blend of country swing and down-home blues. In 1955, he recorded for the Excello label, and he has continued making great records from the 1960s up until present day.
Though he didn’t consider himself a part of the civil rights movement, he did support its goals, even helping with the caravan that escorted Martin Luther King, Jr., from Birmingham to Gadsden in June 1963. – Tim Duffy