Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Today In Blues History September 28

Today in Blues History

September 28

In 1910, Houston Stackhouse was born Houston Goff, in Wesson, Mississippi, and was the son of Garfield Goff. He was raised by James Wade Stackhouse on the Randall Ford Plantation. Stackhouse learned the details of his parentage only when he applied for a passport later in his life. In his teenage years he relocated with his family to Crystal Springs, Mississippi. He became inspired listening to local musicians and records by Blind Blake, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lonnie Johnson. By the late 1930s, Stackhouse had played guitar around the Delta states and worked with members of the Mississippi Sheiks, Robert Johnson, Charlie McCoy and Walter Vinson. He also teamed up with his distant cousin Robert Nighthawk, whom he taught to play the guitar. In 1946, Stackhouse moved to Helena, Arkansas, to live near Nighthawk and for a time was a member of Nighthawk’s band, playing on KFFA radio.

In 1928, Cora Walton was born on a farm in Shelby County, TN. The world would eventually know her as Koko Taylor, “The Queen of the Blues.” Her style encompassed many genres. including Chicago blues, electric blues, rhythm and blues and soul blues. She was known for her rough, powerful vocals and traditional blues stylings. She left Tennessee for Chicago in 1952 with her husband, Robert "Pops" Taylor, a truck driver. In the late 1950s she began singing in blues clubs in Chicago. She was spotted by Willie Dixon in 1962, and this led to more opportunities for performing and her first recording contract, in 1965, with Checker Records, a label owned by Chess Records, for which she recorded Wang Dang Doodle, a song written by Dixon and recorded by Howlin' Wolf five years earlier. The record became a hit, reaching number four on the R&B chart and number 58 on the pop chart in 1966, and selling a million copies. She recorded several versions of the song over the years, including a live rendition at the 1967 American Folk Blues Festival, with the harmonica player Little Walter and the guitarist Hound Dog Taylor. Taylor became better known by touring in the U.S. in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and she became accessible to a wider record-buying public when she signed with Alligator Records in 1975. She recorded nine albums for Alligator, eight of which were nominated for Grammy Awards, and came to dominate ranks of female blues singers, winning twenty-five W. C. Handy Awards (more than any other artist).

This date in 1963 recorded the passing of Charley Lincoln. Also known as Charley Hicks or Laughing Charley, Lincoln was Barbecue Bob's brother and was born Charlie Hicks, Jr. He was an early American country blues musician who often recorded with his brother. Hicks was born in Lithonia, Georgia. In his teens he was taught to play the guitar by Savannah Weaver, the mother of Curley Weaver, and performed in the Lithonia area until 1920. He moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and worked outside the field of music, occasionally performing with his brother. He recorded with his brother for Columbia Records from 1927 to 1930. An example is the duet It Won't Be Long Now, with crosstalk, which the brothers recorded in Atlanta on November 5, 1927. After Robert's early death in 1931, Lincoln continued to perform into the 1950s. From 1955 to 1963 he was imprisoned for murder in Cairo, Georgia, where he became a prisoner trustee. He died there of a cerebral hemorrhage on September 28, 1963.

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