ART LEWIS “All music has the same notes,” says Art Lewis. “Symphony has the same notes, rap has the same notes, blues has the same notes, religious has the same notes. C is C. It’s all either four beats or three beats or two beats. If you could tap the moon, you’d find that it’s the same note that you can tap on Earth:’ Lewis was born in Houston in 1936 and remembers first listening to music in church: “It had so much power behind it, you couldn’t sit down:’ He studied at Texas Southern, but credits his real education to the hours he passed on his porch with his grandfather: “He was a storyteller and everyone went to sit on his front porch to be entertained. He could tell a lie into the truth, and most of my knowledge of life came from him. He taught me to let your mind be the strongest thing about you:’ Lewis started playing in clubs as a teenager in Houston, where he met Muddy Waters and played with Joe Turner and T-Bone Walker. He was on his way to Mexico when he stopped at a gas station in El Paso. “A guy stepped up to the car and said, ‘Can I help you, Sir?’ he recalls. “These were small words, but they were powerful words and I had never heard anything like that before. Those words, ‘Can I help you, Sir?’ were part of my decision to stay here:’ 8/1/03 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 17
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