Sunday, September 11, 2016

Today In Blues History September 11

Today in Blues History

September 11

In 1902 Robert Hicks, who would become known as “Barbecue Bob” during his short but influential career, was born in Walnut Grove, Georgia. His parents, Charlie and Mary Hicks, were farmers. He and his brother, Charlie Hicks, together with Curley Weaver, were taught how to play the guitar by Curley's mother, Savannah "Dip" Weaver. Bob began playing the 6-string guitar but picked up the 12-string guitar after moving to Atlanta, in 1923 or 1924. He became one of the prominent performers of the newly developing Atlanta blues style. Hicks worked at various jobs, playing music on the side. While working at Tidwells' Barbecue, he came to the attention of Columbia Records talent scout Dan Hornsby. Hornsby recorded him and used Hicks's job to publicize his records, having Hicks pose in chef's whites and hat for publicity photos and dubbing him "Barbecue Bob". During his short career Hicks recorded 68 78-rpm sides. His first, "Barbecue Blues", was recorded in March 1927. The record quickly sold 15,000 copies and made him a best-selling artist for Columbia's race series. At his second recording session, in New York City in June 1927, he recorded "Mississippi Heavy Water Blues", a song inspired by the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.

Harmonica player William McKinley Gillum, known as Jazz Gillum, was born in 1904 in Indianola, MS. He ran away from home at the age of seven and for the next few years lived in Charleston, Mississippi, working and playing for tips on street corners. He moved to Chicago in 1923, where he met the guitarist Big Bill Broonzy. The duo started working at nightclubs around the city. By 1934 Gillum was recording for ARC Records and Bluebird Records.

Born in Stamps, Arkansas on this date in 1924, Willie D. Warren moved with his family at the age of thirteen to Lake Village, Arkansas. He was taught by Caleb King to play the guitar, and played in his own blues ensemble around the Mississippi Delta. His band's singer, Guitar Slim was, in turn, taught guitar playing techniques by Warren, and they toured around Louisiana in the latter half of the 1940s. Relocating to Chicago by the early 1950s he joined Otis Rush's band. He later played alongside Freddie King and Jimmy Reed, plus he also backed Morris Pejoe, when Pejoe recorded tracks for Chess Records. Warren formed the House Rockers back in Arkansas in 1959, and by the early 1970s had moved to Detroit to work and record with Bobo Jenkins. From 1974 to 1976 he was also a featured performer, along with Baby Boy Warren (no relation), with the Progressive Blues Band, a popular blues band that played in many of Detroit's best blues venues. When Baby Boy died in 1977, Wille D. Warren took up the band's frontman duties. In 1977, Warren finally recorded his debut solo album, which was released on Jenkins' Big Star label.

In 1946, John "Juke" Logan was born in Los Angeles. He was an American electric blues harmonica player, musician, singer, pianist and songwriter. He is best known for his harmonica playing on the theme music for television programs (Home Improvement and Roseanne) and films (Crossroads and La Bamba). In addition to playing on many other musicians' work, Logan released four solo albums, and wrote songs for Poco, John Mayall and Gary Primich.

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