Guess whose father-in-law was the original King of the Blues Guitar?

Updated July 28 2019. Blues Muse 14. Two pioneers of the exhilarating new form of blues that, during the 1930s and 1940s, became the precursor to rhythm & blues, included Louisiana’s Saunders King and Aaron T- Bone Walker from Texas. By the early 1940s, both were working out of California. Saunders King, back then, was billed as the King… Continue reading Guess whose father-in-law was the original King of the Blues Guitar?

World’s 2nd rock & roll record: Roll ‘Em Pete by Big Joe Turner with Pete Johnson in 1938

A young Big Joe Turner BluesMuse 12  If  Albert Ammon’s ‘Boogie Woogie Stomp’ was the world’s first rock & roll record in 1936, what was the second? Allow me to put forward ‘Roll ‘Em Pete’, another rollicking piano-based boogie woogie, this one released in 1938. The Pete doing the rolling was 34-year old Pete Johnson,… Continue reading World’s 2nd rock & roll record: Roll ‘Em Pete by Big Joe Turner with Pete Johnson in 1938

Was ‘Boogie Woogie Stomp’ the world’s first rock & roll record in 1936?

BluesMuse10 Fifty eight years ago this May, Bill Hayley’s 12-bar blues, ‘Rock Around The Clock’, turned the world onto rock & roll. While many people claim Ike Turner’s ‘Rocket 88’ was the first rock & roll record in 1951, I’d like to put forward an innovative black pianist from Chicago called Albert Ammons who first… Continue reading Was ‘Boogie Woogie Stomp’ the world’s first rock & roll record in 1936?

How smart were those early black blues pioneers?

BluesMuse9. Another misconception about the blues is that African Americans in the genre’s early days had no education. The great W. C. Handy, who virtually single-handedly standardized the blues into its modern 12-bar format between 1912 and 1920, had a teaching degree. Handy’s publishing partner, Harry Pace, who went on to found the African-American-owned Black… Continue reading How smart were those early black blues pioneers?

From Russia (and Ukraine) with love. How Sebastopol tuning opened the door to open blues tuning

“It’s like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book on it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message hoome a little bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A great read. I will certainly… Continue reading From Russia (and Ukraine) with love. How Sebastopol tuning opened the door to open blues tuning

Did George Bernard Shaw write the world’s first anti-rock music review?

Admittedly, it wasn’t a good review, but one of the earliest descriptions of the wild pre-blues African-American-style music heard in London during 1890 came from no less a source than the celebrated Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw. The photograph below was taken around the time Shaw wrote his damning account of being forced to listen… Continue reading Did George Bernard Shaw write the world’s first anti-rock music review?

Landmark Blind Lemon tracks recorded 86 years ago this month

BluesMuse 3. Blind Lemon Jefferson, Furry Lewis and The Rolling Stones. This month is the 86th anniversary of the recording of the only two Blind Lemon Jefferson tracks that give us a true picture of the legendary performer’s talent. Known as the ‘Father of the Texas Blues’, Lemon recorded about 100 tracks for Paramount between… Continue reading Landmark Blind Lemon tracks recorded 86 years ago this month