Blues on the cusp of rock ‘n’ roll

This final Original Chicago Blues film, above, opens on a 1952 electric version of Washboard Sam’s classic ‘Digging My Potatoes’ featuring the superb lead guitar work of Lee Cooper. To read more about Lee Cooper please visit this earlier post below.

Lee Cooper – a blast of electric blues guitar from the past




The influential Lonnie Johnson as a very young man

Then we move to that totally under-valued blues innovator, Lonnie Johnson. Again, more on Lonnie, and why I think he is the one of the most influential of all blues artists, is at this previous post:

The film finishes by demonstrating why I think Walter Melrose was so important to the Chicago blues scene. Through his record production, he linked the brassy blues of nineteenth century New Orleans with the rock ‘n’ roll that defined the music twentieth century.

I don’t think there’s any other individual who did that.

Lester Melrose

Lester Melrose with some of his blues artists pictured around 1940. From left: Ernest ‘Little Son Joe’ Lawlars, Big Bill Broonzy, Lester Melrose, Roosevelt Sykes, St. Louis Jimmy Oden. Front: Washboard Sam. Courtesy Yannick & Margo Bruynoghe Collection.