We Play The Blues, So You Don’t Have To!

The Hudson Rocket Story

 

           Rocket grew up as an orphan on the streets of Portland, just how many years ago, no one’s quite sure.  Not even Rocket knew how old he was.  One thing all the kids did know, is that no one could beat Rocket in a race. He was the fastest kid in town, and that’s how he got his name.

             As the years slipped by, Rocket grew up and got a job delivering pianos.  One day in the summer of 1943, while Rocket was picking up an order from Moe’s piano warehouse at the corner of 13th and NW Marshall St., he heard a noise coming from one of the crates near the back of the room.  There he found a new born baby boy.  Rocket picked up the infant and instantly fell in love with the child.  He wrapped the boy in a moving blanket, wondering who could have left him there?  Where’s the mama?  Without giving it much more thought, Rocket took the boy home to raise as his own.  On the way, Rocket pondered what to call the boy.  He thought and thought, then it came to him.  He would name the kid after the only thing he owned, his delivery panel, a 1937 Hudson.  And of course, his only name.  So the boy became “Hudson Rocket”.

             Rocket raised young Hudson on the road delivering pianos.  And sometimes waiting outside the warehouse for his dad, Hudson would delight at the old guys on the street, playing and singing the blues.  It wasn’t long before Hudson was joining in, playing the harmonica or sometimes one of the older pianos.  In no time at all, the boy had built a reputation as one of the best blues men around.  As time passed, Hudson grew into his own right as a performer.  Traveled to all the great blues cities, and paid his dues sittin’ in with most of the big name blues artist of the day.  You can still hear the stories the old timers tell about Hudson and his adventures.  Some wild days, that’s for sure!

             A few years ago, Hudson returned to Portland.  He had in mind to start a new band, and did just that.  The Hudson Rocket Band.  Hudson searched all the clubs in town for just the right players.  That’s when he heard “Tommy Joe & The Blues Crew”.  Well that’s all it took, and the band was on its’ way.  With Hudson leading, the band shortly became one of Portlands’ hottest new acts.  Attracting the top bluesmen in town as guests, the “Rocket Band” built a reputation of being a fantastic show.

             Hudson left one day to take care of some business, and we haven’t seen him since.  We do hear of him from time to time.  Others have seen, and spoken with Hudson.  Still, no one can really nail him down.  We do know he’s been supplying the recipe for Hudson Rockets (the drink he invented) to most of the clubs the band performs at.  So, if you happen to see Hudson, tell him we love and miss him.  In the mean time, we’ll keep asking… Where’s Hudson?

             Remember what he said, “We play the Blues, so you don’t have to!

 

The Recipe

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Patti Simmons

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