September 1967, Bayswater, London 
Blues great Big Maybelle is in London for the first time promoting her new LP, she’s visited Soul City record store and my boyfriend William (in this pic) and I have been to see her perform at a club in Dalston. Maybelle is in the UK accompanied by a six-foot amazon of a woman, Bobbie Taylor, the sister of Jack Taylor, the notorious owner of Rojac Records. Maybelle’s life journey has been a long way from a ‘walk in the park.’
After coming to prominence in the 40s and 50s, achieving success with a massive hit ‘Candy’ in 1956 and a memorable performance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1958, Maybelle was challenged by a recurrent battle with drugs. Coming to Britain is a big deal for Maybelle and she loves that there are some dedicated soul music fans (including myself and Dave Godin) who give her the respect and acknowledgment often missing for her in America.
My friend Enid (who runs the fan club for former Ikette and solo artist residing in London in 1966, P.P. Arnold) and I go visit Maybelle at her Bayswater hotel. I bring William along and he’s thrilled to be meeting an American recording artist in person! As this pic of William, Maybelle and Enid shows, we’re having a great time! (I’m not in the photo because I was likely the one taking it!). Maybelle loves to gossip and tells stories of her recent tour with Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and Jackie Wilson,  When I mention Aretha’s broken arm sustained during the tour, Maybelle assures me that it isn’t the result of tripping over a microphone wire (as the press reports suggest), implying that it may have been from a fight with her husband/manager Ted White…