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  • The Greatest 21 Blues Musicians Of All Time

    02
    Jun
    We select the twenty one greatest blues musicians of all time.

    Blues music has for a long time been widely considered to be one of American’s greatest musical contributions, so much so that in 1977 N.A.S.A. has even sent blues standards into space. It can be heard on the soundtracks of the Oscar nominated film, The Wolf Of Wall Street, and in 2003 the United States Congress declared it the year of the blues. American’s favorite and oldest surviving genre of music spawned Jazz, R&B,and Rock & Roll. If you follow us on Instagram, then you can tell that we are huge blues fans with the music we feature every Friday for our #newmusicfridays. We often receive comments on our selections asking who some of these obscure blues musicians are, responses via members of our mailing list as. It is because of this we have decided to showcase what we feel are “The 21 Greatest Blues Musicians Of All Time.”

    21. Stevie Ray Vaughan 

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    This heavy string playing often called the “Texas Guitar Slinger”,and “Hurricane”, Stevie Ray Vaughan, though his career was a short-lived one (spanning seven years), he is widely considered one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of blues music, and one of the most important figures in the revival of blues in the 1980s.

    Most endearing song…..

    20. Jimi Hendrix

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    Originally named Johnny Allen, but later renamed, James Marshal, after his Uncle was killed in WWII; though the world would know him by yet another name- Jimi Hendrix. He is widely considered to be the greatest guitar player of all time,his influence is felt by every one who has ever picked up a guitar, but it is his remarkable blues playing that got him a slot on our list. Though some will say this rock royalty was more of a rock musician, but if listen to every song he ever recorded you will hear his heavy blues influence. This influence has came from Elmore James,Howlin’ Wolf, Albert King,to B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix was a blues man threw and threw. While a young man Hendrix met a few of his heroes in person and even learned a few things from them. The great B.B. King has said he asked him questions about guitar licks,and B.B. showed him as he said did not think he would be a threat. He learn these lessons well so much so in fact that within ten days of arriving in London he preformed the time honored tradition of challenging a the biggest musician at their own show. This was a infamous tradition done by blues guitars for years,and was meant to show up the biggest,and best blues man in their own show. At that time the raining champion was Eric Clapton,but unlike Hendrix Clapton had never played the “Chitlin Circuit” and was unaware of what was about to happen. Blues musicians who would preform this act were called “Head Hunters”, and would often preform the act of “Cutting” the player by out play them during their own shows. When Hendrix asked to set in on Cream’s gig it was this tradition he had learned from his days as a blues man that had him take the stage and “cut ” Clapton .(hear the song list below) Challenging of the man who was called “God”,and dethroning him. Later he would become the most popular guitar player in history which goes to show he learned his blues lessons well.

    Most endearing song…..[*blues song]

    *The song he played to “Cut” Clapton*

    19. Willie Dixon

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    Proficient on both the upright bass,the guitar, and as a vocalist, Dixon is perhaps best known as one of the most prolific songwriters of his time. Dixon is recognized as the one of most influential people to shape the post-World War II sound of the Chicago blues. Dixon’s songs have been recorded by countless musicians in many genres as well as by various ensembles in which he participated. He wrote by far most famous compositions includes “Hoochie Coochie Man”, “I Just Want to Make Love to You”, “Little Red Rooster”, “My Babe”, “Spoonful”, and “You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover”. These tunes were written during the peak of Chess Records, 1950–1965, and performed by Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, and Bo Diddley; they influenced a worldwide generation of musicians. Dixon also was an important link between the blues and rock and roll, working with Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley in the late 1950s. His songs were covered by some of the biggest artists of more recent times, such as Bob Dylan, Cream, Jeff Beck, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and The Rolling Stones.

    Most endearing song…..

    18. Freddie King


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    He is often mentioned as one of “the Three Kings” of electric blues guitar along with Albert and B.B. King. Freddie King based his guitar style on Texas and Chicago influences and was one of the first bluesmen to have a multi-racial backing band at live performances. He is best known for singles such as “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” (1960) and his Top 40 hit “Hide Away” (1961). He is also known for albums such as the early, instrumental-packed Let’s Hide Away and Dance Away with Freddy King (1961) and the later album Burglar (1974) which displayed King’s mature versatility as both player and singer in a range of blues and funk styles. King became an influential guitarist with hits for Federal Records in the early 1960s. He inspired musicians such as Jerry Garcia, Dickey Betts, Stevie Ray Vaughan and his brother Jimmie Vaughan. His influence was also felt in Britain through recordings by blues artists such as Eric Clapton, Peter Green, and Chicken Shack. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

    Most endearing song…..

    17. Blind Willie McTell

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    He played with a fluid, syncopated fingerstyle guitar technique, common among many exponents of Piedmont blues, although, unlike his contemporaries, he came to use twelve-string guitars exclusively. McTell was also an adept slide guitarist, unusual among ragtime bluesmen. His vocal style, a smooth and often laid-back tenor, differed greatly from many of the harsher voice types employed by Delta bluesmen, such as Charley Patton. McTell embodied a variety of musical styles, including blues, ragtime, religious music and hokum. Born in the town of Thomson, Georgia, McTell learned how to play guitar in his early teens. He soon became a street performer around several Georgia cities including Atlanta and Augusta, and first recorded in 1927 for Victor Records. Although he never produced a major hit record, McTell’s recording career was prolific, recording for different labels under different names throughout the 1920s and 30s. In 1940, he was recorded by folklorist John A. Lomax and Ruby Terrill Lomax for the Library of Congress’s folk song archive. He would remain active throughout the 1940s and 50s, playing on the streets of Atlanta, often with his longtime associate, Curley Weaver. Twice more he recorded professionally. McTell’s last recordings originated during an impromptu session recorded by an Atlanta record store owner in 1956. McTell would die three years later after suffering for years from diabetes and alcoholism. Despite his mainly failed releases, McTell was one of the few archaic blues musicians that would actively play and record during the 1940s and 50s. However, McTell never lived to be “rediscovered” during the imminent American folk music revival, as many other bluesmen would McTell’s influence extended over a wide variety of artists, including The Allman Brothers Band, who famously covered McTell’s “Statesboro Blues”, and Bob Dylan, who paid tribute to McTell in his 1983 song “Blind Willie McTell”; the refrain of which is, “And I know no one can sing the blues, like Blind Willie McTell”. Other artists influenced by McTell include Taj Mahal, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Ralph McTell, Chris Smither and The White Stripes.

    Most endearing song…..

    16. Albert King

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    Born in Indianola, MS, but raised in Forrest City, AR, Albert King (born Albert Nelson) taught himself how to play guitar when he was a child, building his own instrument out of a cigar box. At first, he played with gospel groups most notably the Harmony Kings but after hearing Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lonnie Johnson, and several other blues musicians, he solely played the blues. Albert King played guitar left-handed, without re-stringing the guitar from the right-handed setup; this “upside-down” playing accounts for his difference in tone, since he pulls down on the same strings that most players push up on when bending the blues notes. King’s massive tone and totally unique way of squeezing bends out of a guitar string has had a major impact. Many young guitarists have been influenced by King’s playing, and many players who emulate his style may never have heard of Albert King, let alone heard his music. His style is immediately distinguishable from all other blues guitarists, and he’s one of the most important blues guitarists to ever pick up the electric guitar.

    Most endearing song…..

    15. John Lee Hooker

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    Hooker was born in Mississippi, he was the son of a sharecropper, and rose to prominence performing his own interpretation of what was originally a unique style of country blues. He developed a ‘talking blues’ style that became his trademark. Though similar to the early Delta blues, his music was metrically free. John Lee Hooker could be said to embody his own genre of the blues, often incorporating the boogie-woogie piano style and a driving rhythm into his blues guitar playing and singing. His best known songs include Boogie Chillen’, I’m in the Mood, and Boom Boom—the first two reaching #1 on the Billboard R&B chart. There is some debate as to the year of Hooker’s birth in Coahoma County, Mississippi, the youngest of the eleven children of William Hooker (1871–1923),a sharecropper and Baptist preacher, and Minnie Ramsey (born 1875, date of death unknown); according to his official website, he was born on August 22, 1917. Hooker and his siblings were home-schooled. They were permitted to listen only to religious songs, with his earliest exposure being the spirituals sung in church. In 1921, his parents separated. The next year, his mother married William Moore, a blues singer who provided Hooker with his first introduction to the guitar (and whom John would later credit for his distinctive playing style). John’s stepfather was his first outstanding blues influence. William Moore was a local blues guitarist who learned in Shreveport, Louisiana to play a droning, one-chord blues that was strikingly different from the Delta blues of the time.Around 1923 his natural father died. At the age of 15, John Lee Hooker ran away from home, reportedly never seeing his mother or stepfather again. Throughout the 1930s, Hooker lived in Memphis, Tennessee where he worked on Beale Street at The New Daisy Theatre and occasionally performed at house parties.[5] He worked in factories in various cities during World War II, drifting until he found himself in Detroit in 1948 working at Ford Motor Company. He felt right at home near the blues venues and saloons on Hastings Street, the heart of black entertainment on Detroit’s east side. In a city noted for its pianists, guitar players were scarce. Performing in Detroit clubs, his popularity grew quickly and, seeking a louder instrument than his acoustic guitar, he bought his first electric guitar.

    Most endearing song…..

    14. Elmore James

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    Most endearing song…..

    13. Muddy Waters

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    Born in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, in 1915, he was most likely born at Jug’s Corner in neighbouring Issaquena County in 1913.[4] Recent research has uncovered documentation showing that in the 1930s and 1940s, before his rise to fame, he reported his birth year as 1913 on both his marriage license and musicians’ union card. A 1955 interview in the Chicago Defender is the earliest claim of 1915 as his year of birth, which he continued to use in interviews from that point onward. The 1920 census lists him as five years old as of March 6, 1920, suggesting that his birth year may have been 1915. The Social Security Death Index, relying on the Social Security card application submitted after his move to Chicago in the mid-1940s, lists him as being born April 4, 1913. Muddy’s gravestone gives his birth year as 1915. Muddy’s grandmother, Della Grant, raised him after his mother died shortly following his birth. Della gave the boy the nickname “Muddy” at an early age because he loved to play in the muddy water of nearby Deer Creek.

    Most endearing song…..

    12. Bukka White

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    Born between Aberdeen and Houston, Mississippi, White was a first cousin of B.B. King’s mother (White’s mother and King’s grandmother were sisters).White himself is remembered as a player of National steel guitars. He also played, but was less adept at, the piano. White started his career playing the fiddle at square dances. He claims to have met Charlie Patton early on, although some doubt has been cast upon this; Regardless, Patton was a large influence on White. White typically played slide guitar, in an open tuning. He was one of the few, along with Skip James, to use a crossnote tuning in E minor, which he may have learned, as James did, from Henry Stuckey. He first recorded for the Victor Records label in 1930. His recordings for Victor, like those of many other bluesmen, fluctuated between country blues and gospel numbers. Victor published his photograph in 1930. His gospel songs were done in the style of Blind Willie Johnson, with a female singer accentuating the last phrase of each line.

    Most endearing song…..

    11. Lead Belly

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    He is best known as Lead Belly. Though many releases list him as “Leadbelly,” he spelled it “Lead Belly.” This is also the usage on his tombstone, as well as of the Lead Belly Foundation. In 1994 the Lead Belly Foundation contacted an authority on the history of popular music, Colin Larkin, editor of the Encyclopedia of Popular Music, to ask if the name “Leadbelly” could be altered to “Lead Belly” in the hope that other authors would follow suit and use the artist’s correct appellation. Although Lead Belly most commonly played the twelve-string, he could also play the piano, mandolin, harmonica, violin, and accordion.[4] In some of his recordings, such as in one of his versions of the folk ballad “John Hardy”, he performs on the accordion instead of the guitar. In other recordings he just sings while clapping his hands or stomping his foot. The topics of Lead Belly’s music covered a wide range of subjects, including gospel, blues about women, liquor, prison life, and racism; and folk songs about cowboys, prison, work, sailors, cattle herding, and dancing. He also wrote songs concerning the newsmakers of the day, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler, Jean Harlow, the Scottsboro Boys, and Howard Hughes.

    Most endearing song…..

    10.  Blind Lemon Jefferson

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    Lemon Henry Jefferson was blind at birth, born near Coutchman in Freestone County, near present-day Wortham, Texas. He was one of eight children born to sharecroppers Alex and Clarissa Jefferson. Disputes regarding his exact birth date derive from contradictory census records and draft registration records. By 1900, the family was farming southeast of Streetman, Texas, and Lemon Jefferson’s birth date is indicated as September 1893 in the 1900 census.The 1910 census, taken in May before his birthday, further confirms his year of birth as 1893, and indicated the family was farming northwest of Wortham, near Lemon Jefferson’s birthplace. In his 1917 draft registration, Jefferson gave his birth date as October 26, 1894, further stating that he then lived in Dallas, Texas and had been blind since birth. In the 1920 Census, he is recorded as having returned to Freestone County and was living with his half-brother, Kit Banks, on a farm between Wortham and Streetman. Jefferson began playing the guitar in his early teens, and soon after he began performing at picnics and parties. He became a street musician, playing in East Texas towns, in front of barbershops and on streetcorners.
    Most endearing song…..


    9.  T-Bone Walker
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    T-Bone Walker, né Aaron Thibeaux Walker was born in Linden, Texas, of African-American and Cherokee descent. Walker’s parents, Movelia Jimerson and Rance Walker, were both musicians. His stepfather, Marco Washington, taught him to play the guitar, ukulele, banjo, violin, mandolin, and piano. Walker began his career as a teenager in Dallas in the early 1900s. His mother and stepfather (a member of the Dallas String Band) were musicians, and family friend Blind Lemon Jefferson sometimes came over for dinner. Walker left school at the age of 10, and by 15 he was a professional performer on the blues circuit. Initially, he was Jefferson’s protégé and would guide him around town for his gigs. In 1929, Walker made his recording debut with Columbia Records billed as Oak Cliff T-Bone, releasing the single “Wichita Falls Blues”/”Trinity River Blues”. Oak Cliff was the community he lived in at the time and T-Bone a corruption of his middle name. Pianist Douglas Fernell played accompaniment on the record. Walker married Vida Lee in 1935; the couple had three children. By the age of 25, Walker was working at clubs in Los Angeles’ Central Avenue, sometimes as the featured singer and guitarist with Les Hite’s orchestra.

    Most endearing song…..

    8.  Son House

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    After years of hostility to secular music, as a preacher, and for a few years also as a church pastor, he turned to blues performance at the age of 25. He quickly developed a unique style by applying the rhythmic drive, vocal power and emotional intensity of his preaching to the newly learned idiom. In a short career interrupted by a spell in Parchman Farm penitentiary, he developed to the point that Charley Patton, the foremost blues artist of the Mississippi Delta region, invited him to share engagements, and to accompany him to a 1930 recording session for Paramount Records. Issued at the start of The Great Depression, the records did not sell and did not lead to national recognition. Locally, Son remained popular, and in the 1930s, together with Patton’s associate, Willie Brown, he was the leading musician of Coahoma County. There he was a formative influence on Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters. In 1941 and 1942, House and the members of his band were recorded by Alan Lomax and John W. Work for Library of Congress and Fisk University. The following year, he left the Delta for Rochester, New York, and gave up music. In 1964, a group of young record collectors discovered House, whom they knew of from his records issued by Paramount and by the Library of Congress. With their encouragement, he relearned his style and repertoire and enjoyed a career as an entertainer to young white audiences in the coffee houses, folk festivals and concert tours of the American folk music revival billed as a “folk blues” singer.

    Most endearing song…..

    7.  Skip James

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    He first learned to play guitar from another bluesman from the area, Henry Stuckey. His guitar playing is noted for its dark, minor sound, played in an open D-minor tuning with an intricate fingerpicking technique. James first recorded for Paramount Records in 1931, but these recordings sold poorly due to the Great Depression, and he drifted into obscurity. After a long absence from the public eye, James was “rediscovered” in 1964 by three blues enthusiasts, helping further the blues and folk music revival of the 1950s and early 1960s. During this period, James appeared at several folk and blues festivals and gave live concerts around the country, also recording several albums for various record labels. His songs have influenced several generations of musicians, being adapted or covered by Kansas Joe McCoy, Robert Johnson, Alan Wilson, Cream, Deep Purple, Chris Thomas King, Alvin Youngblood Hart, The Derek Trucks Band, Beck, Big Sugar, Eric Clapton, Lucinda Williams and Rory Block. He is hailed as “one of the seminal figures of the blues.”

    Most endearing song…..

    6.  Blind Willie Johnson

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    Blind Willie Johnson, according to his death certificate, was born in 1897 near Brenham, Texas (before the discovery of his death certificate, Temple, Texas had been suggested as his birthplace). When he was five, he told his father he wanted to be a preacher and then made himself a cigar box guitar. His mother died when he was young and his father remarried soon after her death. Johnson was not born blind, and, although it is not known how he lost his sight, Angeline Johnson told Samuel Charters that when Willie was seven his father beat his stepmother after catching her going out with another man. According to this account, the stepmother then blinded young Willie by throwing lye in his face.[ It is believed that Johnson married at least twice. He was married to Willie B. Harris. Her recollection of their initial meeting was recounted in the liner notes for Yazoo Records’s “Praise God I’m Satisfied” album. He was later alleged to have been married to a woman named Angeline. Johnson was also said to be married to a sister of blues artist, L.C. Robinson.[citation needed] No marriage certificates have yet been discovered. As Angeline Johnson often sang and performed with him,[citation needed] the first person to attempt to research his biography, Samuel Charters, made the mistake of assuming it was Angeline who had sung on several of Johnson’s records. However, later research showed that it was Willie B. Harris. Johnson remained poor until the end of his life, preaching and singing in the streets of several Texas cities including Beaumont. A city directory shows that in 1945, a Rev. W.J. Johnson, undoubtedly Blind Willie, operated the House of Prayer at 1440 Forrest Street, Beaumont, Texas. This is the same address listed on Johnson’s death certificate. In 1945, his home burned to the ground. With nowhere else to go, Johnson lived in the burned ruins of his home, sleeping on a wet bed in the August/September Texas heat. He lived like this until he contracted malarial fever and died on September 18, 1945. (The death certificate reports the cause of death as malarial fever, with syphilis and blindness as contributing factors.)In a later interview, his wife, Angeline said she tried to take him to a hospital but they refused to admit him because he was blind, while other sources report that his refusal was due to being black. And although there is some question as to where his exact grave location is, Blanchette Cemetery (which is the cemetery listed on the death certificate but location previously unknown) was officially located by two researchers in 2009. In 2010, those same researchers erected a monument to Johnson in the cemetery, but his exact gravesite remains unknown.

    Most endearing song…..

    5.  Charley Patton

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    Patton was born in Hinds County, Mississippi, near the town of Edwards, and lived most of his life in Sunflower County in the Mississippi Delta. Most sources say he was born in 1891, but there is some debate about this, and the years 1887 and 1894 have also been suggested. Patton’s parentage and race have been the subject of debate. Although born to Bill and Annie Patton, locally he was regarded as having been fathered by former slave Henderson Chatmon, many of whose other children also became popular Delta musicians both as solo acts and as members of groups such as the Mississippi Sheiks. Biographer John Fahey describes Patton as having “light skin and Caucasian features.” Though Patton was considered African-American, because of his light complexion there have been rumors that he was Mexican, or possibly a full-blood Cherokee, a theory endorsed by Howlin’ Wolf. In actuality, Patton was a mix of white, black, and Cherokee (one of his grandmothers was a full-blooded Cherokee). Patton himself sang in “Down the Dirt Road Blues” of having gone to “the Nation” and “the Territo'”meaning the Cherokee Nation portion of the Indian Territory (which became part of the state of Oklahoma in 1907), where a number of Black Indians tried unsuccessfully to claim a place on the tribal rolls and thereby obtain land.

    Most endearing song…..

    4.  B.B. King

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    King was born in a cabin on a cotton plantation outside of Berclair, Mississippi, to Albert King and Nora Ella Farr on September 16, 1925. Although, King considers the nearby city of Indianola, MS to be his home. In 1930, his father left the family, and his mother married another man. King was raised by his maternal grandmother Elnora Farr in Kilmichael, Mississippi. As a kid, King sang in the gospel choir at Elkhorn Baptist Church in Kilmichael. It seems that at the age of 12, he purchased his first guitar for $15.00, although another source indicates he was given his first guitar by Bukka White, his mother’s first cousin (King’s grandmother and White’s mother were sisters). In 1943, King left Kilmichael to work as a tractor driver and play guitar with the Famous St. John’s Quartet of Inverness, Mississippi, performing at area churches and on WGRM in Greenwood, Mississippi. In 1946, King followed Bukka White to Memphis, Tennessee. White took him in for the next ten months. However, King shortly returned to Mississippi, where he decided to prepare himself better for the next visit, and returned to West Memphis, Arkansas, two years later in 1948. He performed on Sonny Boy Williamson’s radio program on KWEM in West Memphis, where he began to develop an audience. King’s appearances led to steady engagements at the Sixteenth Avenue Grill in West Memphis and later to a ten-minute spot on the Memphis radio station WDIA. King’s Spot became so popular, it was expanded and became the Sepia Swing Club. Initially he worked at WDIA as a singer and disc jockey, gaining the nickname Beale Street Blues Boy, which was later shortened to Blues Boy and finally to B.B. It was there that he first met T-Bone Walker. “Once I’d heard him for the first time, I knew I’d have to have (an electric guitar) myself. ‘Had’ to have one, short of stealing!”, he said.

    Most endearing song…..

    3.  Robert Johnson

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    His landmark recordings in 1936 and 1937 display a combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that has influenced later generations of musicians. Johnson’s shadowy, poorly documented life and death at age 27 have given rise to much legend, including the Faustian myth that he sold his soul at a crossroads to achieve success. As an itinerant performer who played mostly on street corners, in juke joints, and at Saturday night dances, Johnson had little commercial success or public recognition in his lifetime. Johnson’s records sold poorly during his lifetime. It was only after the reissue of his recordings in 1961 on the LP King of the Delta Blues Singers that his work reached a wider audience. Johnson is now recognized as a master of the blues, particularly of the Mississippi Delta blues style. He is credited by many rock musicians as an important influence; Eric Clapton has called Johnson “the most important blues singer that ever lived.”

    Most endearing song…..

    2.  JB Lenior

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    Lenoir’s guitar-playing father introduced him to the music of Blind Lemon Jefferson, whose music became a major influence. During the early 1940s, Lenoir worked with blues artists Sonny Boy Williamson II and Elmore James in New Orleans. Lenoir would eventually find musical influence in Arthur Crudup and Lightnin’ Hopkins. In 1949, he moved to Chicago and Big Bill Broonzy helped introduce him to the local blues community. He began to perform at local nightclubs with musicians such as Memphis Minnie, Big Maceo Merriweather, and Muddy Waters, and became an important part of the city’s blues scene. He began recording in 1951 the J.O.B. and Chess Records labels. His recording of “Korea Blues” was licensed to and released by Chess, as having been performed by ‘J. B. and his Bayou Boys’. His band included pianist Sunnyland Slim, guitarist Leroy Foster, and drummer Alfred Wallace. During the 1950s Lenoir recorded on various record labels in the Chicago area including J.O.B., Chess, Parrot, and Checker. His more successful songs included “Let’s Roll”, “The Mojo” featuring saxophonist J. T. Brown, and the controversial “Eisenhower Blues” which his record company, Parrot, forced him to re-record as “Tax Paying Blues.” Lenoir was known in the 1950s for his showmanship – in particular his zebra-patterned costumes – and his high-pitched vocals. He became an influential electric guitarist and songwriter, and his penchant for social commentary distinguished him from many other bluesmen of the time. His most commercially successful and enduring release was “Mamma Talk To Your Daughter”, recorded for Parrot in 1954 which reached #11 on the Billboard R&B chart and was later recorded by many other blues and rock musicians. In the later 1950s (recording on the Checker label), he wrote several more blues standards including; “Don’t Dog Your Woman”, and “Don’t Touch My Head!!!” (1956). In 1963, Lenoir recorded for USA Records as ‘J. B. Lenoir and his African Hunch Rhythm’, developing an interest in African percussion. However, he struggled to work as a professional musician and for a time took menial jobs, including working in the kitchen at the University of Illinois in Champaign. Lenoir was rediscovered by Willie Dixon, who recorded him with drummer Fred Below on the albums Alabama Blues and Down In Mississippi (inspired by the Civil Rights and Free Speech movements). Lenoir toured Europe, and performed in 1965 with the American Folk Blues Festival in the United Kingdom . After refusal of admission into a hospital after a car aceident that resulted in not only his untimely death,but a out pour of simpaithy including the song “Death of J.B. Lenior”.

    Most endearing song…..

    1.  Howlin’ Wolf

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    Howlin’ Wolf was born on June 10, 1910 in White Station, Mississippi, near West Point. He was named Chester Arthur, after Chester A. Arthur, the 21st President of the United States. His physique garnered him the nicknames of Big Foot Chester and Bull Cow as a young man: he stoods6 feet 4inches tall and often weighed 300 pounds. He explained the origin of the name Howlin’ Wolf: “I got that from my grandfather”, who would often tell him stories about the wolves in that part of the country and warn him that if he misbehaved then the “howling wolves would get him”.  By many accounts including the award winning documentary  “The Howlin’ Wolf Story”, Wolf’s parents broke up when he was young which left him to be raised by his mother. His mother, Gertrude, was a very religious woman who did not like the blues, or what she considered laziness, and eventually threw him out of the house as a child for refusing to work around the farm. He then moved in with his uncle, Will Young, who would regularly physically abuse him. When he was 13, after he was viciously beat but his Uncle he ran away, and walking 85 miles barefoot to join his father. There he found a happy home within his father’s large family. It was during this time where he began to become interested in the blues; learning from what he would later say was his idol, Charley Patton. Who he would later site as the man who taught him to play the guitar,and his voice was so enjoyed the legendary blues man Robert Johnson. Who he toured with shortly as his singer while Johnson played guitar. Rumors of his past surfaced that Wolf had killed a man by chopping off his head with a lawnmower blade. This of course only added to his legend. During the peak of his success, he returned from Chicago to see his mother in his home town and was driven to tears when she rebuffed him: she refused to take money offered by him, saying it was from his playing of the “Devil’s music”.

    Most endearing song…..

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