Happy Birthday Bonnie Raitt: Listen To ‘The Lost Broadcast Philadelphia 1972’ Live Album

Bonnie Raitt was born on this date in 1949 in Burbank, California. Hailing from a musical family, Raitt started out on piano but soon switched to guitar, an instrument she would excel at especially in the slide category as she learned her craft through the folk and blues revivals of the 1950s and ‘60s. But while a skilled guitarist, it’s Bonnie’s amazing voice that instantly captivates.

In 1967, Raitt enrolled at Radcliffe College of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts where she performed in campus groups and became friends with blues promoter Dick Waterman with whom she decamped to Philadelphia with along with other local musicians in a move that Raitt said, “changed everything.”

The move to Philly was a learning experience for Bonnie where she was immersed in the blues and while she would head back to Cambridge, the allure of music was strong and she would leave again in 1970 when Waterman offered her a job on tour with The Rolling Stones. Bonnie also picked up a gig at the storied Gaslight Cafe in New York City where she generated a buzz and soon signed with Warner Brothers. Bonnie Raitt released her self-titled debut in 1971 to critical acclaim.

Raitt returned to Philadelphia on February 22, 1972 to perform at Sigma Sound Studios’ Rainbow Room. The show was broadcast on local Philly station WMMR but would not see the light of day again until an official release in 2011, hence the name, The Lost Broadcast Philadelphia 1972.

The performance is an acoustic blues gem that includes stripped-down versions of nine out of the 11 tracks on Bonnie Raitt. Bonnie plays guitar and sings alongside Dan “Freebo” Freeberg on bass, T.J. Tindle on guitar and John Davis on harmonica. Raitt opened the broadcast with Sippie Wallace’s “Mighty Tight Woman” and also delivered Sippie’s “Women Be Wise,” both appearing on her self-titled debut.

Also from her debut album, Bonnie delivers her cover of the stellar Stephen Stills-penned, Buffalo Springfield number “Bluebird.” Raitt plays piano on “Thank You,” one of two of her own compositions on Bonnie Raitt. She also delivered the other, “Finest Lovin’ Man,” which features Davis on harmonica. Raitt shows off her slide skills on “Walkin’ Blues” and delights vocally on “Blender Blues.” Additionally, Raitt performed two songs from her yet to be released album (at the time), Give It Up (1972), “Under The Falling Sky” and “Too Long At The Fair” along with a cover the Steve Winwood-written, Blind Faith tune “Can’t Find My Way Home” and more.

To celebrate Bonnie Raitt’s birthday, hear the acclaimed guitarist and singer’s The Lost Broadcast Philadelphia 1972 below:

Setlist

Set: Mighty Tight Woman, Rollin’ & Tumblin’, Any Day Woman, Woman Be Wise, Thank You, Bluebird, Finest Lovin’ Man, Big Road, Stayed Too Long At The Fair, Under The Falling Sky, Walkin’ Blues, Can’t Find My Way Home, Richland Woman Blues, Blender Blues, Since I Fell For You