BLUES BIRTHDAYS: NOVEMBER 12th-18th
BOOKER T. JONES – NOVEMBER 12, 1944
Four-time Grammy-winning musician Booker Taliaferro Jones, Jr. was born on November 12, 1944, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was a child prodigy, playing the organ at church and oboe, saxophone, trombone, bass, and piano in school. After getting noticed by a Stax Records executive, a teenage Jones worked as a session musician for the record company and was soon hired as part of the Stax Records house band to do covers. The group also released original instrumental records under a separate band name, Booker T and the MGs.
They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and are best known for their 1962 hit single “Green Onions”. Booker T and the MGs were heavily influential in shaping soul music and one of the most respected and emulated bands of their era. Jones still performs shows with the MGs and continues his session work performing back up with his distinctive Hammond B3 Organ for artists such as Ray Charles and Eric Clapton. Jones also has a successful solo career, he returned to Stax Records again for his 2013 critically acclaimed studio album Sound the Alarm, which features Gary Clark Jr. on the song “Austin City Blues”.
JOHN P. HAMMOND – NOVEMBER 13, 1952
Blues singer and songwriter John Paul Hammond was born on November 13, 1952, in NYC, he is the son of record producer John C. Hammond who was one of the most influential figures of 20th-century popular music. The younger Hammond started playing guitar in high school and by the mid-60’s he was touring nationally. The Grammy award-winning acoustic blues-rock barrelhouse guitarist has released 34 albums and has performed and recorded with some of the biggest names in blues like Howlin’ Wolf, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters, Duane Allman, and Tom Waitts.
HUBERT SUMLIN – NOVEMBER 16, 1931
Chicago blues guitarist Hubert Sumlin started playing guitar at eight years old in church and by his teens was playing in a blues band with his friend James Cotton. Sumlin was a protégé of the legendary Howlin’ Wolf for more than two decades, he became Wolf’s lead guitarist from 1954 up until his death in 1976. Sumlin’s greatest contributions to Wolf’s catalog can be heard on songs such as “Killing Floor”, “Smokestack Lightning” and “Shake for me” for the Chess record label.
In addition to his extensive solo albums, Sumlin also played guitar in Muddy Waters band for a short time and on records for Jimmy Reed, Willie Dixon, Chuck Berry, and Sonny Boy Williams. Sumlin’s electrifying blues filled with earth-shattering bursts of energy and daring rhythmic suspensions has made him a renowned guitarist, winning multiple Blues Music Awards and ranking 43 on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Guitarist of All Time.
TAB BENOIT – NOVEMBER 17, 1967
American blues Musician Tab Benoit was born on November 17, 1967, in Houma, Louisiana. He picked up the guitar as a teenager and started playing at blues clubs in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Soon he began jamming alongside Tabby Thomas, Henry Gray, and Raful Neal and went on to collaborate with Charlie Musselwhite, Anders Osbourne, and the Double Trouble rhythm section. Benoit was Grammy nominated for Best Traditional Blues Album for his 2006 record Brother To The Blues. He also won several Blues Music Awards, including being a two-time winner of the esteemed B.B. King Entertainer of the Year award. Benoit writes his own compositions and plays a Fender Telecaster Thinline electric guitar, his style is a blend of delta, soul and swampy bayou blues mixed with some whiskey-soaked vocals.
Devon Ebersold for Keeping the Blues Alive
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