Life is too short for boring music

Posts Tagged ‘Memphis’

JOE WILLIE WILKINS

Joe Willie Wilkins was born to the Blues. His Daddy, Papa Frank Wilkins, was a friend of Charley Patton and he played guitar himself, so it was inevitable that the young kid was going to play too. Although mainly famous for a long career as a side-man who played on many great Blues records in…

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CHARLEY BOOKER

Charley Booker was born and raised in Sunflower County, in the Mississippi Delta, with the sound of original Blues music all around him. The plantation where Charley grew up is just east of Indianola, where Charley reported seeing Charley Patton play. Charley’s uncle played with Patton and the kid was playing guitar in local juke-joints…

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BOOKER T JONES

Memphis was ‘Soulsville USA’ in the 60s, and the band behind that world-changing music was Booker T and the MGs. The MGs had big solo hits of their own in the Stax days, including their most famous track, ‘Green Onions’, and their ‘Soul Limbo’ is the unlikely theme tune for TV coverage of cricket all…

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PAT HARE

Pat Hare’s aggressive, distorted lead guitar work at Sun Studios in 1953 literally set the tone for Blues rock, Rockabilly and Heavy Metal players decades later. In fact Pat’s contribution to James Cotton‘s ‘Cotton Crop Blues’ with it’s heavy power-chords, is sometimes cited as the first ‘heavy metal solo’. Recruited by Muddy Waters in 1956,…

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ROSCO GORDON

Rosco Gordon was a Memphis pianist who developed an off-beat shuffle that gave his work a distinctive flavour. That sound went on to be very influential in Ska and Reggae music when Rosco’s records made it to Jamaica. As one of the Beale Streeters, Rosco played with the Blues √©lite and he had some very…

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NOAH LEWIS

Noah Lewis was a Memphis harp maestro whose stylish playing, showmanship and sheer volume set the standard for harp players during the Memphis Jug Band craze of the late 20s. Noah came to Memphis from Henning TN as a teenager accompanied by another boy, singer/guitarist Ashley Thompson. They met banjo player Gus Cannon and the…

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WILL SHADE

Harp player Will Shade was the central character in The Memphis Jug Band, which was one of the best selling recording acts of the late 20s. Will was the leader and manager of the band, and his multi-instrumental talents meant he could invite a wide range of guests into his group. Charlie Burse, Furry Lewis,…

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SLEEPY JOHN ESTES

Sleepy John Estes was an important and influential re-discovery of the Folk/Blues revival of the early 60s. His guitar work was never more than rudimentary, but his clear piercing voice conveyed his authentic and personal country Blues to a new generation of fans and performers, and his songs live on in the work of many…

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SPECKLED RED

Speckled Red was a boogie-woogie pianist who was a fixture on the club scene in Memphis and St. Louis in the 30s and 40s. His proto-rap ‘The Dirty Dozens’ was a hit in 1929, and he recorded many versions and updates over the years. Rufus Perryman was the birth name of Speckled Red. He and…

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JOHNNY ACE

Johnny Alexander had a short but brilliant career until he blew his own brains out backstage at his Christmas show. In the late 40s, Johnny could be found playing piano and singing in the clubs around his native Memphis. He was part of the loose collective of Blues musicians known as The Beale Streeters with…

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