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Jose Luis's Story

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Jose Luis Gonzalez, 70, died peacefully on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at the Lahey Hospital, while in the comforting presence of his family and friends, following a short illness.
Jose was born on June 3, 1947 in Castillo de Sequeiros, Lugo, Spain. He spent his youth there, and then came to America to settle in Peabody in 1966 with his parents, Elvira (Franco) Gonzalez and the late Manuel Gonzalez.
He worked in various factories here on the North Shore and then decided to get his tractor trailer license so he could be his own boss.
In the late 1960's and early 1970's he found his true calling….blues music. Jose would go to clubs, where he became very good friends with many blues musicians, which also opened the door to working with them. He started his career doing whatever was needed, working as a Roadie and/or Booking Agent for Blues legends Howlin Wolf, Hubert Sumlin, Muddy Waters and B.B. King. He then became a Road Manager for Eddie Shaw, J.B. Hutto and James Cotton. These are just the most well-known artists that he worked with, but there are a great many others also, too numerous to be named. Jose traveled across America and the world as he and the musicians he supported helped Blues music gain a mass popularity. Jose also worked with countless promoters, musicians, club owners, colleges and booking agents to help knock down racial barriers and bring the Blues and all its great musicians to the North Shore primarily, and then also to all of New England and the world. His name was always synonymous with the Blues. Jose brought these Blues giants to small venues here on the North Shore (like churches and VFW halls) on his own for all of his friends (and friends of his friends) to cherish and enjoy. Everyone knew Jose, and Jose knew everybody and treated them like family. The early 1980's found him working with Blues legends Buddy Guy and Junior Wells and they became such great friends that he never left them until he retired from the music business in the mid-1990's. He came back home to Peabody to help take care of his mom, who had recently been widowed. Jose became an independent contractor in different areas up until his retirement.

He is survived by his mother, Elvira (Franco) Gonzalez of Peabody; his brother, Carlos “Charlie” Gonzalez of Peabody; his niece and Goddaughter, Brandy Gonzalez of Peabody, his nephews, Daniel Boyle of Chelsea and Michael Boyle of Peabody; his aunt, Mercedes Franco of Peabody, and lots of cousins too numerous to mention.
Relatives and friends are invited to gather for a visitation on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Conway, Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home, 82 Lynn St., Peabody, followed by a Tribute Service at 6:30 p.m. All are invited immediately following the service to attend a gathering at Our Lady of Help Hall Social Club, 61 Northend St., Peabody until 10 p.m. Please visit www.ccbfuneral.com for online obituary or sign condolences.
Published on  September 9, 2017
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