Tuesday, 11 April 2017

John Lee Granderson born 11 April 1913

John Lee Granderson (11 April 1913, Ellendale, Tennessee, - 22 August 1979, Chicago, Illinois, was a blues guitarist and singer.

Granderson’s style was established in west Tennessee blues before World War II. He learned to play the guitar when he was nine years old. Although not a professional musician, he played mostly in the Memphis area with Sleepy John Estes, Hammie Nixon, and others. He left his parents around 1927, making his way north to Chicago in 1928. 

For many years he worked as a junkman, auto mechanic and custodian. He performed around Chicago frequently, sometimes with John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson in the 30’s and 40’s.  

Granderson with Robert Nighthawk
1940s-1960s: John Lee Granderson, Avery Brady and Arvella Gray all performed on Maxwell Street. He recorded for Testament in 1962 – 1966 by himself and as part of the Chicago String band (with Johnny Young, Big John Wrencher and Carl Martin). Additional recordings were made for Adelphi. Others that  Granderson played with were Robert Nighthawk, Big Joe Williams, and Daddy Stovepipe.  He was most active in the 1960s. 
Granderson sang and played guitar close to the style of the Memphis musicians of his youth . For the most part he ceased performing publicly in 1975, but he continued composing lyrics until his death. He suffered a stroke in February 1979 and he died that August of pancreatic cancer in Chicago, IL 1979, at the age of 66.
(Scant info but mainly edited from a bio by Edward Komara for The Blues Encyclopaedia and various sources)


boppinbob said...

For “Hard Luck John” go here:


1. Minglewood Blues - 1:40
2. Hard Luck John - 2:54
3. Flora Blues - 3:08
4. Please Come Back To Me - 3:11
5. Death Valley Blues - 2:06
6. Texas Blues - 2:02
7. Rock Me All Night Long - 2:07
8. Cold Dark Evening - 3:19
9. Country Farm Blues - 3:38
10. Decoration Day - 2:53
11. Aching Pain Blues - 3:39
12. This Is Your Last Chance - 2:21
13. That's Doggin' Me - 2:07
14. Watch Out, Girl - 2:20
15. Got To Bend You Over, Baby - 2:33
16. One Kind Of Favour - 3:24

All tracks recorded in Chicago, Illinois.
Tracks 1, 7, 12, and 16 recorded circa 1964.
Track 4 and 8 recorded April 4, 1964.
Tracks 2, 3, 9, and 11 recorded May 2, 1966.
Track 10 recorded July 24, 1963.
Track 14 recorded June 18, 1966.
Track 5 recorded September 30, 1962.
Track 6 recorded October 21, 1962.
Tracks 13 and 15 recorded circa mid-1960s.

This is a particularly intriguing project, for producer Pete Welding in 1966 gathered together four veteran Chicago blues musicians (three of whom were playing electric blues at the time) and had them re-create the style of a 1920s/'30s string band. Carl Martin (60 at the time) was part of the original era, and he is heard on violin and guitar. Also featured in different combinations are Johnny Young on mandolin, guitarist John Lee Granderson, and John Wrencher on harmonica; all four musicians have their spots taking vocals. The music is very much in the early tradition, and the music is both spirited and delightful. (Scott Yanow, Allmusic)

For “The Chicago String Band – 1966” go here:


01 The Sun Is Sinking Low
02 Trouble On Your Hands
03 Weeping & Moaning
04 You Know I Do
05 Hoodoo Blues
06 You Got Good Business
07 Take It Easy Baby
08 I Got To Find That Woman
09 Clean Cut Mama
10 Railroad Blues
11 Don't Sic Your Dog On Me
12 John Henry
13 Memphis, Tenn., 1939 Blues
14 Bye Bye Pete

A big thank you to Gyro1966 @ twilightzone-rideyourpony.blogspot.co.uk for above active link.

Anonymous said...

Hello :) could you please re up Hard luck John ? thanks!

boppinbob said...

Sorry Dr. Oyster cant find the file anywhere. Try asking here:
You may be lucky.