News came through today that Tony Joe White has died. My first instinct was to put For Lee Ann on the turntable. It always makes me cry – for good reason this time.
I interviewed Tony Joe in 1999 before one of his quite regular trips to Australia. I’d gotten sick of transcribing so just scribbled notes and I’ve always regretted not taping our chat. There was music and warmth and humour in his speaking voice. The show at the Fly By Night Club in Fremantle was a stunner.
Tony Joe played at Victoria Hall in Fremantle in April 2017. He appeared a bit frail but the voice was powerful and the performance was passionate – I remember thinking he’d still be able to turn heads with that growl of his. Under the lights in black hat and sunglasses he looked a bit like a highwayman and that seemed appropriate.
Anyway here’s the story from the Fremantle Herald 10 April 1999.