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Blues Legend Junior Wells In Coma; Near Death

September 11, 1997 12:00 AM ET

On a sad note, the blues world may soon be mourning legendary Blues harmonica player, Junior Wells. Wells slipped into a coma Tuesday in a Chicago hospital after suffering a heart attack last Friday. Several weeks ago, Wells, 62, underwent treatment for lymphoma and was checked back into the hospital. While there, he started suffering from fainting spells. Valerie Thorson, a spokeswoman for Telarc International, Wells' label, said doctors discovered there was no brain activity and decided to remove Wells from life support. His manager, Marty Salzman, said doctors reported that Wells is breathing on his own, but there's no good prognosis. They don't think he'll recover from the coma. Only time will tell.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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