Louise Anderson Adkins

I am very sorry to have to share this news with you. I have just learned that Louise Anderson died on November 21. It was her heart. Some of you may know under her under the name Louise or Lou Adkins. This woman left a huge impression on my life, and I will follow this letter with more about her.t

- Walter Craft
December 5, 2014

When I met her, she was Louise Anderson. The next thing I knew, Susie and I had moved from Indianapolis to Cincinnati so I could be handier for her to moosh me into shape as a real musician that could actually count to four. Not too long later I looked around and she was Big Boss Bess and Her Badass Bass-- and we were playing more music than I had ever played before. We were the first to busk Fountain Square in Cincy- what a lesson THAT was. How about the Annual Christmas Party for the Otis Elevator Company?

She played upright bass, Fender bass, guitar (though seldom), accordion, sang harmonies that made anyone she graced better, and wrote music staff as fast as I could sing it. She rode down to New Orleans with me circa 72 and met Joel, many of the Wrong Placers, and Brownie- who came back to Cincinnati with her. As a result- a number of other folks wound up in Cincinnati. Notably- Ron and Sandy Sowell came up to manage the Family Owl in the basement of Hoagies. Did I mention tuba? For many years she led the Bluebird Jazz Band in Cincinnati. Any kind of music was OK with her. She would figure out something to add. She eschewed playing three notes when two would do- and vice versa.

In a search for comfort, I went wandering through my memories and her Facebook page. Louise was a woman with a joyous appetite for life and sheer goodness. From subtle to swashbuckling to Norse Goddess with a Broadaxe, her sense of humor could roll you like monster surf or wake you three days later in the middle of the night snickering in realization. No one could nickname you like she could. All she needed was a few syllables to capture an essence.

The carousel reels in the years and she rode a lot of ponies. Somewhere in there her love of big draft horses wound her up with Mel Adkins working the carriage trade over in Hale, MI. That heart finally gave out and left anyone fortunate enough to have known her wishing they could hear that surf boom - or that Breeze Whisper Louise - just one more time.

I have so much more to say but…

If you go looking:

- Walter Craft
December 12, 2014

I'm so deeply sorry to hear this. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture, just a lot of fond memories from the Family Owl and Lou, who I knew as Bess. My thoughts are with all of you who loved her, especially Walter.

- Pam Belford

December 6, 2014