The Old Russian Officer, Patron of a Blues in
provinces of Russia has died . . .

The following was sent to me from the Russian e-mail address

April 10, 1998 at 4 o'clock in the morning in the age of 87 of years the Old Russian Officer has died: Ushakov, Mickail Grigoryevich.

He was born in 1911 in big to family in village Buzinovskaya on Kuban. He early has lost the futher and mother, early has become to work and simultaneously to study.

He worked in collective farm, then served in Army. In Army, in 1931, for the first time has heard the American Blues in performance of the American Engineers, wich worked in city Rostov. After that, he, was ill, Blues!

He is not skilful to play on musical tools, but tried to organize musical collective for performance of Blues. These attempts were finished on military prison.

With 1941 for 1945 he participated in The Second World War, was in Iran, was at war on Caucasus. His favourite movie was: "Song a Solar Valley" ["Sun Valley Serenade"] with an Orckestra of G. Miller, wich showed on all Soviet fronts of war in Russia. Orckestra of L. Utyosov: the official Soviet variety orckestra, did not like him.

He always spoke, that it is better than a Blues in American processing there is nothing.

He was at war well, was two times wounded and the way from the soldier up to the officer: grown-up leytenant, despite of enthusiasmes, known for all, a Blues has passed.

He recollected, that at the night on the trophy radio receiver always listened a Blues and Jazz from America and Europe. He was then lonely in the enthusiasm for a Blues and it was dangerous in those times.

He married in 1944 in hospital, after a wound in city of Sukhumi in Georgian. The wife did not divide his enthusiasm for a Blues, though was keen on music and sang national songs in military amateur performance. The wife has got to him very good, that him, probably, and has kept in those severe times.

He has written in the manuscript the large book about influence of a Blues on psychology of the man in conditions of Russia, wich risked sometimes to read in a close environment. The copies of this book in the manuscripts are known, but where the original nobody knows. If somebody will see it: PLEASE, INFORM US!

Hard destiny of his brothers and relatives:

His younger brother, Ivan, was the Commander of the heavy tank and was lost in Poland in city Gdansk (Gdynya) on April 29, 1945 from an explosive bullet of the German sniper.

Other brother, Victor, too was the Commander of the tank (T-34) in a military rank the Captain and him hardly have wounded in 1943 in very big to tank fight in a village Prochorovka, he has got in captivity and in 1946 was released by the American Army, has returned to Russia, the Captain was deprived of a military rank and has lived of heavy complete deprivations life till 1991.

The third brother, Nickolay, too was at war, was wounded, and after war worked the Bookkeeper in city Stavropol, where has died in January 1998.

In interesting his uncle, Matvey, wich in 1943 wounded has got in captivity and was in the American of Zone in Germany, is released in 1946, has returned to Russia, where till 1957 was exposed to the rigid control on the part of authorities.

He too loved a Blues and took a great interest of Jazz. In the American of Zone the American Sergeant has learned him to play on a mouth organ, he will played on it on holidays and parties, thus all where suprised to unknown melodies, wich he played on it.

Matvey was the man with the large humour and life has finished in 1984, working in the garden in city Essentucky, wich very much loved and found in it calm from vital difficulties.

ALL LIFE Mickail Grigoryevich Ushakov DREAMED OF THREE EVENTS:



TO GENERATE PERFECT COLLECTIVE OF BLUES IN RUSSIA and to play Russian products in blues interpretations.

First two events he and could not carry out. To generate collectives of Blues in those places of Russia, where he served after war and lived, it was possible to him.

With 1945 for 1971 he on a duty of a military service served in 11 different areas of former Soviet Union. Many provincial musicians with the large heat and with love recollect Mickail Grigoryevich Ushakov.

Many from them he found in prisons, camps and has not given them to stop their musical career, organized concerts, the rehearsals and were found by an output in the most difficult and improbable situations, wich are specific only in Russia.

For example, in 1959 he somewhere has got on the money perfect German accordion of firm HANSA and has presented its musicians in a settlement Lapshanga of Gorky of area. And it when did not suffice even products of a feed.

Of such legends about him tell very much.

He with its energy and talent could achieve the large successes in a military service. But for this purpose he should refuse the relatives who have got in captivity, to refuse support of the musicians playing a Blues and Jazz, to refuse the enthusiasm for a Blues.


In 1971 to him 60 years were executed and him immediately send in a resignation in a rank of Major with small pension equivalent to 120 dollars per one month. And in family he had five men.

On irony of destiny, he has remained in small city, where served last ten years and wich name is SARAPOOL surprisingly reminds city LIVERPOOL - native land of THE BEATLES (compare Sarapool and Liverpool).

His altitude to another rock-music was complex: he recognized only THE ROLLING STOUNES.

With 1971 for 1990 he taught the literature and aesthetics in Colleges of city Sarapool, actively helped the provincial musicians, got a musical material, organized concerts, festivals, settled the conflicts to authorities. In cites of Ural, the Caucasuses and Siberia him knew well.

He was the generous and kind man. Tell, that on city to him the people frequently approached requiring in money and spiritual help, and it refused nobody, for what his wife even took offence at him and abused for his simplicity.

With 1991 his sights and hearing of steel to be worsened, it could not teach and strongly experienced because of it. However, having perfect memory, knowledge of game of many musicians and intuition, he continued to render the large help in organization of collectives of Blues and Jazz, in organization of rehearsals and concerts.

The musicians always knew: if not the official authorities will help, necessarily will help Mickail Grigoryevich Ushakov. Recently one behind another of steel to die his numerous close relatives and friends.

In addition, he has moved to the new house, where to him have refused to connect the telephone, and he last 1.5 years has become blind and poorly heard. In spite of the fact that his neighbours on the house gave the telephone to him, he hardly experienced such situation.

Unfortunately, and the musicians could not to him well help: with work and money in provinces of Russia it is very heavy. Him did not forget, to him always came also to him always wrote the letters all his numerous musicians and poets.

April 9 he with the wife were at meeting veterans of war. He has come home joyful, but, has complained, that does not see at all difference between light and black tones. He has become to listen to the TV set and, suddenly, his daughter has noticed, that it is very bad. The doctors have defined, that at him insult.

Some hours he struggled for life, even tried to calm all of the relatives and friends, behaved courageously and abequately. April 10 at 4 o'clock in the morning he has died.

About his house the huge amount of the people was going and all cried.

To return to The Blues News index, click here.

The Blue Highway To The Introduction The Bluescasts
The Blues Mall The Gutbucket The Blues Links

The Blue Highway
For the 'Buked and Scorned

Copyright © 1995-2002 by Curtis Hewston