Blues Music Quiz
Test your knowledge of the Blues with this quick quiz. The ten questions cover different types of Blues, traditional and modern. What do you know about Chess Records, Professor Longhair and Chuck Berry?
Click on the answer you think is correct. Even the wrong answers might give you an interesting story!
Which 'King of the Blues' came from Texas?
No. Albert King was born Albert Nelson in Indianola MS, the same town as BB King, and released some of his early records on the King/Federal label.
Correct. Known as 'The Texas Cannonball', Freddie was born Freddie Christian in Gilmer Texas, but when he relocated to Chicago and began recording for the King/Federal label, he adopted his mother's maiden name to become Freddie King
Bumble Bee Slim's real name was?
No. With his flashy suits and matching shoes, 300ft. guitar lead, pompadour hair-do and enthralling stage presence, Eddie became a legend as 'Guitar Slim'.
No. Ed performed all over the South as Carolina Slim, but never recorded under that name. His records were credited to Country Paul, Georgia Pine and Lazy Slim Jim.
Why did Pinetop Perkins give up guitar and start playing piano?
No. In fact he sometimes played piano standing up when he was young.
No. Although Pinetop did record his first tracks at Sam's Memphis studio in 1953, and they were some of Sun Records' earliest releases.
No. Pinetop and his slide-guitar playing buddy Robert Nighthawk appeared many times on the King Biscuit Time radio show, hosted by 'Sonny Boy II'. When Robert relocated to Chicago, Pinetop stayed in Helena to play gigs and the radio show in 'Sonny Boy's band, but always as a piano player. Also 'Sonny Boy' wouldn't part with $50 to save his life!
No. Pinetop Smith, the man who popularised the infectious, up-tempo, walking-bass piano style later called boogie-woogie, was killed in 1929. One of those tracks Willie Joe Perkins recorded for Sam Phillips in 1953 was a version of Smith's famous tune 'Pinetop's Boogie' and it became so popular 'Pinetop' adopted the name and many people thought he had composed the number.
Which movie told the story of Leonard Chess's record label?
No. In 2008, a film called 'Checkmate' was made in India, in the Marathi language, one of the 23 official Indian languages. A film of the same name, about a Detective who gets involved with a gang-boss's daughter, was made in Britain in 1935.
No. There is no film of that name, but a book with that title by Horacio Cardo is an imagined re-telling of the origins of the most popular board game in the world, set in ancient India and China.
No. This was a 2003 boxing movie directed by Billy Hayes, the author of the book which was adapted into the multi-Oscar-winning film 'Midnight Express'.
No. It is a stage musical by Sir Tim Rice and Bjorn and Benni from Abba, loosely based on the geopolitical hoo-ha, and a spurious love-triangle, surrounding the historic World Chess Championship match between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky in 1972.
'Meat Head Johnson' was the pseudonym of which great Blues pianist?
Correct. The ex-light-heavyweight boxing champion from New Orleans enjoyed a long career playing Blues piano in Europe, marrying a Yorkshire girl and settling there for the rest of his life. 'Champion Jack' made some records under the 'Meat Head' name in New York after returning from duty in WWII, where he was held as a Prisoner of War in the Pacific.
No. Raymond Charles Robinson was born in Georgia, but when he relocated to the West-coast in the late 40s, he switched to 'Ray Charles' to avoid confusion with boxing Champion Sugar Ray Robinson.
No. Memphis Slim was anything but a 'Meat Head', with his profound intelligence and suave manner. This elegant statesman of the Blues piano was Honoured by both the French and American governments.
Big Mama Thornton was a great singer, but which instrument did she play on stage?
No. But there are many great photos from that era featuring Sister Rosetta Tharpe wielding a big white Gibson.
John Grimaldi took his nom-de-Blues from which make of car?
No. Johnny Pontiac has a certain ring about it, but John chose a different General Motors brand.
Which record label released Albert King's version of 'Born Under a Bad Sign'.
No. Although King/Federal did issue several of Albert's early records which they leased from Bobbin Records in St. Louis in the late 50s.
Correct. Written by MGs leader Booker T Jones and Soul singer William Bell, who both recorded for Stax, the song went on to become a Blues standard. Backed by the stupendous Stax house band The MGs and a hot horn section, it brought some Blues to Memphis, known as 'Soulsville USA', and made Albert a star.
Professor Longhair's real name was?
No. Professor Peter Higgs is the Nobel Prize-winning Scottish mathematician who, 60 years ago, proposed the existence of the recently discovered sub-atomic 'Higgs Bosun', also known as the 'God Particle'.
No. Professor Dave Evans of the University of California is an ethnomusicologist who won a Grammy for his album notes on a Charley Patton collection in 2003. Before that, at the Uni of Memphis, he directed the Music Dept's 'High Water' record label that first issued the work of Junior Kimbrough, Jessie Mae Hemphill and many others. Dave also plays guitar with the Last Chance Blues Band.
No. Steve is better known as Professor Green, a British Rap artist and songwriter who won a MOBO Award (Music of Black Origin) in 2010 for Best Grime/Hip-Hop Act.
No. 'Professor Wilczur' is the title of a romantic novel by Polish writer Tadeusz Dalega-Mostowicz, which was made into a film in 1938.
Which Chuck Berry tune did The Beach Boys steal for their worldwide hit 'Surfin' USA'?
No. This was Chuck's first record and it became a massive breakthrough 'crossover' hit for his label after Leonard Chess got him to change the lyric from “Ida Red”.
No. This was Chuck's 5th single for Chess. It was also issued as the title track of an EP and appeared on Chuck's first album.
No. This single also featured in Chuck's 1956 film 'Rock, Rock, Rock', and The Rolling Stones covered the song on their second album which was wittily entitled 'Rolling Stones No.2'.