Robert Hicks AKA Barbecue Bob: 9/11/1902
One of the early Piedmont blues guitarists and vocalists who helped to pioneer the genre and influence the next generation of musicians. Hicks was born in a small town in Georgia where his parents were farmers. A friend and later fellow blues musician Curly Weaver’s mother taught them both how to play the guitar. Hicks gained his nickname “Barbeque Bob” from working as a line cook in a local restaurant and the name stayed with him as a musician. Although his music career was short, he was still able to record 68 different tracks and develop the “frailing style of guitar playing that is associated with claw hammer on the banjo.” Sadly, he passed away in 1931 at the age of 29 due to tuberculosis.
Shawn Amos: 9/13/1967
Your mind, like mine, when reading the name Amos probably immediately went to the iconic beige cookie bag with blue writing; and funny enough, you wouldn’t be far off. Shawn Amos is the youngest son of the Famous Amos cookie company’s founder Wally Amos. Amos has been infatuated with music since he was a young boy and loved performing for whoever would listen. In between recording and performing, he opened Amos Content Group, providing content for digital media companies. Now, at 50 years young, Amos has released his third studio album, and continues to tour around the US.
Paul Kossoff: 9/14/1950
Late English guitarist and songwriter who is easily one of the most cherished and tragic musicians to emerge from the British blues rock scene of the late 60’s. After forming his first band Black Cat Bones and recording with Champion Jack Dupree, the young guitarist co-founded and achieved fame with the popular hard rock act Free. With his sublime tone, use of vibrato, and deceptively simply riffs, Kossoff was a key component to the sound and success of the band. Unfortunately, his addictions contributed both to Free’s breakup and the drastic decline of his health. He released a solo album in 1973 and formed a band in 1975 (both named Back Street Crawler), but his drug abuse lead to a fatal heart-attack in March of 1976.
Snooky Pryor: 9/15/1921
Pioneering Chicago blues harmonica player and vocalist who claimed to have been the very first person to ever amplify his instrument of choice. He recorded his exemplary harmonica focused blues throughout the late 40’s and 50’s. After retiring for a number of years, he released a successful comeback album in the late 80’s with Blind Pig Records and enjoyed a successful career until he passed away in 2006.
B.B. King: 9/16/1925
What is left to say about the King of the Blues? B.B. King is one of the most cherished musicians in the blues community and has inspired countless musicians from several generations. His single-note soloing style and sustained vibrato are iconic and highly copied by musicians today. One musician who has King to thank is blues-rock titan Joe Bonamassa who was invited to tour with King when he was only 12-years-old. Thank you for everything you left us B.B. you will never be forgotten!