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Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Earl Hooker born 15 January 1929


Earl Hooker (January 15, 1929** – April 21, 1970) was an American Chicago blues guitarist, perhaps best known for his slide guitar playing. Considered a "musician's musician", Hooker performed with blues artists such as Sonny Boy Williamson II, Junior Wells, and John Lee Hooker (a cousin) as well as fronting his own bands. An early player of the electric guitar, Hooker was
influenced by the modern urban styles of T-Bone Walker and Robert Nighthawk. As a band leader, he recorded several singles and albums, in addition to recording with well-known artists. His "Blue Guitar", a popular Chicago area slide-guitar instrumental single, was later overdubbed with vocals by Muddy Waters and became the popular "You Shook Me".

In the late 1960s, Hooker began performing on the college and concert circuit and had several recording contracts. Just as his career was on an upswing, Earl Hooker died in 1970 at age 41 after a lifelong struggle with tuberculosis. His guitar playing has been acknowledged by many of his peers, including B.B. King, who commented: "to me he is the best of modern guitarists. Period. With the slide he was the best. It was nobody else like him, he was just one of a kind".

Earl Zebedee Hooker was born in 1929 in rural Quitman County, Mississippi, outside of Clarksdale. In 1930, when he was one year old, his parents moved to Chicago. There he was influenced by another slide wizard, veteran Robert Nighthawk. But Hooker never remained still for long. He ran away from home at age 13, journeying to Mississippi. After another stint in Chicago, he rambled back to the Delta again, playing with Ike Turner and Sonny Boy Williamson. Hooker made his first recordings in 1952 and 1953 for Rockin', King, and Sun. At the latter, he recorded some terrific sides with pianist Pinetop Perkins (Sam Phillips inexplicably sat on Hooker's blazing rendition of "The Hucklebuck").




Here's the 1953 Sun recording of "Earls Boogie Woogie"

Back in Chicago again, Hooker's dazzling dexterity was intermittently showcased on singles for Argo, C.J., and Bea & Baby during the mid- to late '50s before he joined forces with producer Mel London (owner of the Chief and Age logos) in 1959. For the next four years, he recorded both as sideman and leader for the producer, backing Junior Wells, Lillian Offitt, Ricky Allen, and A.C. Reed and cutting his own sizzling instrumentals ("Blue Guitar," "Blues in D-Natural"). He also contributed pungent slide work to Muddy Waters' Chess waxing "You Shook Me." Opportunities to record grew sparse after Age folded; Hooker made some tantalizing sides for Sauk City, WI's Cuca Records from 1964 to 1968 (several featuring steel guitar virtuoso Freddie Roulette). 

Hooker's amazing prowess (he even managed to make the dreaded wah-wah pedal a viable blues tool) finally drew increased attention during the late '60s.


He cut LPs for Arhoolie, ABC-BluesWay, and Blue Thumb that didn't equal what he'd done at Age, but they did serve to introduce Hooker to an audience outside Chicago and wherever his frequent travels deposited him. But tuberculosis halted his wandering ways permanently in 1970. (Info edited from Wikipedia & All Music - N.B. ** Earls exact birthdate unknown, many different dates are given, so I have used the most popular one.)

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For The Genius Of Earl Hooker go here:

http://www32.zippyshare.com/v/45311578/file.html

1. Two Bugs in a Rug 2. Hold On, I’m Comin’ 3. Off the Hook 4. Dust My Broom 5. Hot and Heavy 6. The Screwdriver 7. Bertha 8. The Foxtrot 9. End of the Blues 10. Walking the Floor Over You 11. Hooker Special 12. Something You Ate


For Earl Hooker - His First And Last Recordings go here:

http://www32.zippyshare.com/v/21870285/file.html