… but baby, still I go for you… This week’s blues artist spotlight is on Guitar Slim, an artist we cover in my blues band, Aces Wild Rockin’ Blues Revue. Eddie "Guitar Slim" Jones (December 10, 1926 – February 7, 1959) was born in Greenwood, Mississippi, United States. His mother died when he was five, and his grandmother raised him, as he spent his teen years in the cotton fields. He spent his free time at the local juke joints and started sitting in as a singer or dancer; he was good enough to be nicknamed "Limber Leg.” After returning from World War II military service, he started playing clubs around New Orleans, Louisiana. Bandleader Willie D. Warren introduced him to the guitar, and he was particularly influenced by T-Bone Walker and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. About 1950 he adopted the stage name 'Guitar Slim' and started becoming known for his wild stage act. He wore bright-colored suits and dyed his hair to match them, had an assistant follow him around the audience with up to 350 feet of cord between amplifier and guitar (boy did he ever need a wireless rig!) and would occasionally get up on his assistant's shoulders, or even take his guitar outside the club and bring traffic to a stop. His sound was just as unusual — he was playing with distorted guitar more than a decade before rock guitarists did the same, and his gospel-influenced vocals were easily identifiable. He got together with Muddy Waters in Los Angeles, California for some lively playing. His first recording session was in 1951, and he had a minor rhythm and blues hit in 1952 with "Feelin' Sad", which Ray Charles covered. His biggest success was "The Things That I Used to Do" (1954). The song was released on Art Rupe's Specialty Records label. The song spent weeks at number one on the R&B charts and sold over a million copies, soon becoming a blues standard. He recorded on many labels, including Delmark Records and Specialty Records. The recordings made in 1954 and 1955 for Specialty are his best. His career having faded, Guitar Slim became an alcoholic, and then died of pneumonia in New York City at age thirty-two. Guitar Slim is buried in a small cemetery in Thibodaux, Louisiana, where his manager, Hosea Hill, resided. Another tragic story of a blues artist dying an untimely death at a very young age. Check out the original version of his “You Give Me Nothin’ But the Blues”, thanks to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_Slim for the info, and keep on rockin’, but in a bluesy way!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
... ya think? Today in rock history, in 1959, Sandy Nelson hits #4 with "Teen Beat." Born in 1938, Sandy was also a session drummer and hung out with Jan and Dean in high school. He had a severe motorcycle accident in 1963 where he lost his right foot and part of his right leg, but he kept right on drumming, releasing 2-3 albums a year through the '70's. He now lives in Boulder City, Nevada and continues to experiment with music on keyboards and piano, and released an album in 2008. Thanks to http://rockhall.com/story-of-rock/today-in-rock and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Nelson for the info, and let's check out "Teen Beat" one more time - keep on beatin' those skins!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Today in rock history, Sam Moore was born in Miami, Florida, 1935. He is best known for his work as the Sam of the soul music duo Sam and Dave, where he was the higher tenor voice. Sam worked with Dave Prater, who died in 1988, from 1961 to 1970, recording a number of top 10 soul hits for Atlantic and Stax records; then went on to a solo career. His latest recording, released in 2006, is "Overnight Sensational," where he is paired with such artists as Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey, and Jon Bon Jovi. There's a nice interview with Sam that aired this past Sunday on local radio station 89.3 The Current, and you can check it out at http://americanroutes.publicradio.org/. Check out Sam and Dave doing one of my favorites, "Soul Man." Thanks to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Moore and http://rockhall.com/story-of-rock/today-in-rock/ for the info, and keep on rockin'!
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
no, no, no, no He's outside...looking in. Today in rock history, in 1966, a new federal law makes possession of LSD illegal. When I had heard that, prior to this date, LSD was actually legal, it just blew my mind. To think that all the hippies in San Francisco (and the Angels, too) were blowing their minds legally in ’65 and earlier in ’66 with this stuff…wow. Well, Timothy Leary truly is dead… Thanks to http://rockhall.com/story-of-rock/today-in-rock/, keep on rockin’ (legally), and have a safe trip…