Harry Duncan has filled a lot of roles in his 61 years: Independent producer of black music for Bill Graham Presents; manager of artists like the Meters and Ornette Coleman, to name just a couple; original talent buyer at Slim's; and, currently, a consultant at Bimbo's 365 Club.
Just a year ago, you could catch Duncan on any Tuesday, about 7 p.m., walking into a non-descript building on the USF campus with a stack of wax and CDs — an arsenal of roots music to cook In the Soul Kitchen, a show that he produced and hosted every week since 1984.
Then, on Tuesday, Jan. 18, as Duncan was mulling over his show, staffers and DJs were escorted out of the building, and KUSF went silent. “I felt upset, violated, angry, and anxious about what the hell was going to happen,” Duncan tells All Shook Down.
In the Soul Kitchen is now back on Tuesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. — on KUSF In Exile, rather than 90.3FM — and Duncan now spins the monthly Roots and Rhythm Series at Amoeba Music SF, including tomorrow, Nov. 26, from 2 to 5 p.m.
All Shook Down caught up with Duncan at his Bimbo's office, as well as in the aisles of Amoeba Music in Berkeley, where he kept handing us records and saying,
You got this one, right?
Slim's Shout, the Blues of Sunnyland Slim. No, I don't have it.
I wouldn't be here talking to you if it weren't for this man.