Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Mose Allison 

Wednesday, October 25, at Nighttown.

A fine blues singer, Mose Allison (who's white) comes from Tippo, Mississippi, so he doesn't have to fake a Southern accent. He's a consistently humorous and sometimes profound lyricist (e.g., "If you feel neglected by someone you love/Even get rejected when push comes down to shove/You think nobody gives a damn 'bout what you're goin' through/Well, one thing you can count on/The earth wants you"). On top of all that, Allison plays very good jazz piano. Born in 1927, Allison got a BA from Louisiana State University in 1950, then worked in Texas and Louisiana with a trio for a few years. He moved to New York in 1956 and played with Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, and the Al Cohn-Zoot Sims band. In 1957, Allison began recording with his trio. His wry, understated vocals and amusing songs gained him pop as well as jazz fans. In fact, the Who recorded his "Young Man's Blues" in 1970. On his latest CD, Gimcracks and Gewgaws (Blue Note), he's cut "Old Man Blues" as a sort of sequel. The piece contains the lines "But in the U.S.A./Where the young man knows how to wheel and deal/The young man's got that sex appeal/The young man is the man of the hour/Thirty-five years of purchasing power/And an old man/Ain't nothing in the U.S.A." Allison's also a unique piano soloist. His playing is dissonant at times, but subtle as well, and he occasionally departs from chord structures to improvise free jazz.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Previews

Latest in Livewire

More by Harvey Pekar

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 5, 2022

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays
  • Dustin Nickerson @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Thu., Jan. 20
  • Clayton English @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Fri., Jan. 21

© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation