Most of us probably have asked themselves this question at one point in their lives. And it is exactly this type of question that makes us aware of the significance of two very short, very simple words: yes and no. I couldn’t agree more with the 17th century Spanish Jesuit Balthasar Gracian who said that “No and Yes are words quickly said,” and that “they need a great amount of thought before you utter them.”
Back to the music, though. Calvin Leavy’s is a sad story. He was born in 1940 in Arkansas as the youngest of 15 children. He was off to a good start, first locally with his band The Leavy Brothers and later even nationally. His most famous song is “Cummins Prison Farm” whose lyrics draw from one of the Leavy Brother’s prison experience. The song, clearly a Blues tune, reached the R&B charts in 1970.
“Is It Worth All That I’m Going Through” was recorded in the late 70’s with his new group The Professionals. It is more of a Deep Soul than a Blues tune. You find his riveting electric Blues titles on two compilations. “The Best of Calvin Leavy ,”(TAM, 2000) and “Cummins Prison Farm,” (P-Vine 2003).
Unfortunately, Calvin Leavy was arrested in a drug related offence and sentenced to a life behind bars. He died in 2010 only 18 months before being eligible for parole. May his soul rest in peace. He truly left a legacy of wonderful Blues and Soul music behind.