The JKL Index to AMERICA’S Gift: The untold story of how blues evolved. I welcome any excuse to include a photograph of the great Lonnie Johnson. This shot must have been taken around 1925. Check those spats. According to the index of AMERICA’S Gift, Johnson is the blues’ most common surname, with King next (although two of these… Continue reading The JKL of blues: 16 Johnsons, 7 Kings & a lotta London
Updated 20th September 2018 To us unbelievers, he was certainly NOT the devil. So, who really taught the blues guitar to Robert Johnson down at the crossroads? It wasn’t the devil, of course, but a certain Mr. Zimmerman. No, no, not Robert Zimmerman (Bob Dylan to us), but an African-American Mr. Zimmerman: Ike Zimmerman. I wonder if Bob knows… Continue reading Meet Robert Johnson’s guitar teacher.
Updated 1 June 2016 A few posts ago, I promised to shed light upon one of the earliest influences on the origin of the blues that remains untold. The time has come to reveal all. (These clues, of course, were also later revealed in my book, America’s Gift.) My clue was found buried away in an 1882 edition of… Continue reading Amazing untold clues to blues’ origins.
UPDATED: 4 March 2019. Did 1930s bluesman Sleepy John Estes influence Tyrannosaurus Rex? Before the electric guitar-boogie pop of Marc Bolan’s T-Rex – the group who started Britain’s early 1970s glam-rock era – some might remember we had the hip underground folk-rock of Bolan’s T-Rex’s forerunner: Tyrannosaurus Rex. Tyrannosaurus Rex was an early hippy-style band whose most interesting… Continue reading Did Sleepy John inspire Marc Bolan?
UPDATED: JULY 11th 2018 Is this a world exclusive? Well, I’d never seen it mentioned when I first wrote this five years ago. And I haven’t seen it mentioned since. BluesMuse46. Nearly 103 years ago, a song was recorded that many blues and jazz traditionalists rate as their genres’ greatest of all time. It was Christmas… Continue reading EXCLUSIVE. The world’s first black blues recording.
Dirty blues lyrics and filthy rugby songs: the similarities. Like blues, rugby can be pretty dirty CONTAINS PROFANITIES. PLEASE DON’T READ IF EASILY OFFENDED. At first glance, blues music and rugby union seem the most unusual bedfellows. Scratch the surface, though, and you’ll see the connections. The most obvious is how early blues work songs and after-match rugby songs… Continue reading Songs so dirty they’d be banned today