My Kind Of Music VII...The Blues

The Blues

I received a request from a fellow hubber to do an article on the blues, this is an idea I'd had sometime ago. Now it's time. There were so many of these guys and gals, that space and time will only allow me to list a few. These just happen to be some of my favorites.

I was either not yet born, or very young when these performers were in their heyday, however I did hear my mother playing their records, and subsequently became a fan of most of them. I hope, that even if you've never heard of them, or haven't thought of them for sometime, that you'll still enjoy my selection.

B. B. King

B.B. King, born Riley King, September 16, 1925,in Indianola, Mississippi, USA. King is considered a singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer. His music genres are, blues, soul, soul blues, blues rock, electric blues, and rhythm and blues. B. B. began his career in 1949 by working at a local R&B radio station, as a singer, and disc jockey, where he received the nickname Beale Street Blues Boy, which was later shortened to B.B.

King is not only known for his blues, but also for a his now famous guitar which he named Lucille, as to how he came to call the guitar Lucille goes something like this. He was playing in a dance hall, the hall caught on fire from a barrel filled with kerosene. The barrel was overturned when two men started to fight. After everyone was evacuated King realized he'd left his guitar inside the burning hall, he took his life in his hand to retrieve his beloved guitar. He later found out the fight was over a woman named Lucille, that began his long love affair with the name, which he decided would be the name of his guitars down to this day.

I can't do him justice with this little space, so go over and read about his long and illustrious career, B.B. King.

Bobby Blue Bland

Bobby Blue Bland

Although I wrote an entire hub on Mr. Bland, enough can't be said about this amazing talent. His music is some of my favorite blues, and I just couldn't resist listing just one more of my favorite songs by the man himself. Mr. Bland was born Robert Calvin Bland, in Rosemark Tennessee, in 1930. For more information on his life go over and read my hub about him, Bobby Blue Bland.

Howlin Wolf

Howlin Wolf

This is another of the blues men that I did an entire article on, but here again, I wanted to relive his music once more. You can read the article by following this link, "Howlin Wolf...Blue Great." Before you go over, just take a listen, and see why I like his music so much.

John Lee Hooker

John Lee Hooker

John Lee Hooker, (that just happened to be his real name, one of the few of his day that actually kept his real name), was born on August 22, 1917, near Clarksdale Mississippi.

Hooker's music genre was, blues, country blues, and talking blues. He was said to have developed the "talking blues," which ultimately became his trademark. Although a blues man in true sense of the word, he was said to have his own unique style, which included the "talking blues," that was actually his claim to fame.

Like so many of his contemporaries, life was tough, recording studios rarely paid black musicians anywhere near what they were worth, which necessitated clever antics on their part. For instance, Hooker would wander from studio to studio, with new songs, or variations of his songs for each studio. Because of his recording contract, he would record these songs under pseudonyms, some of which weren't too far from his own name, such as John Lee Booker, Johnny Lee, John Lee, John Lee Cooker, he also used, Texas Slim, Delta John, Birmingham Sam and his Magic Guitar, Johnny Williams, or The Boogie Man.

John Lee Hooker died June 21, 2001 at the age of 83, in Los Altos, California. His life story bears reading in it's entirety, so go over and do just that, John Lee Hooker.

Willie Mae Big Mama Thorton

Big Mama Thornton

Big Mama Thornton, was born Willie Mae Thornton, Dec.11, 1926, in Montgomery Alabama. Although there's been many renditions of her hit song "Hound Dog," she was the first to record it in 1952, the song made it to #1 on Billboard's R&B chart, and remained there for nine weeks.

Willie Mae began her career as many in her field, in church. Her father was a minister, and her mother was a church singer. However after the death of her mother she left home at the age of 14 and joined, Sammy Green's Georgia-based Hot Harlem Revue, where she remained for seven years, giving the young girl valuable stage and singing experience. She was not only sang, but taught herself to play the harmonica and drums. Her genres were, Rhythm and Blues, and Texas Blues. Despite being a familiar name among blues aficionados Thornton career in the limelight was short lived. She died at the age of 57, on July, 25, 1984 in Los Angeles, California. For more on her life, follow the link, Big Mama Thornton.

Little Walter

Little Walter

Little Walter was born Marion Walker Jacobs, on May 1, 1930, in Marksville Louisiana. His genres were, blues, Chicago blues, and rhythm and blues. Little Walter was not only known for his voice, he was also famous for his ability to play the guitar and harmonica. As a matter of fact his harmonica style has been compared to Charlie Parker and Jimi Hendricks for it's impact of succeeding generations. It is said " His virtuosity and musical innovations fundamentally altered many listeners' expectations of what was possible on blues harmonicas." Little Walter is largely credited with being responsible for establishing the standard vocabulary for modern blues and blues rock harmonica players.

Unfortunately Walter suffered an early death, at the very young age of 37, leaving behind a legacy as a harmonica player that won't soon be duplicated. For a more In depth chronicle of his life follow this link, Little Walter.

Bo Diddley

Bo Diddley

What a fun song, listen closely to the words. Anyway, a little about the man. He was born Ellas Otha Bates, on December 30, 1928, in McComb, Mississippi. He received so many honors, accolades, awards, and tributes, that I can't do justice with this small blurb about him here. Enjoy, as I did his life's history by following this link. "Bo Diddley." When you go over, and read about his life, don't overlook the sub topic, "Death." Not to be morbid, but that was a very interesting part of the article. Sufficient to say, that this was one of the most interesting and innovative blues men of the day.

Conclusion

Although I realize this genre is not for everyone, I do hope you, nevertheless, enjoyed my little foray into the lives of some of the blues greats of days gone by.

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