John Fahey (musician)
John Aloysius Fahey was an American fingerstyle guitarist and composer who played the steel-string acoustic guitar as a solo instrument. His style has been enormously influential and has been described as the foundation of American Primitive Guitar, a term borrowed from painting and referring to the self-taught nature of the music and its minimalist style. Fahey borrowed from the folk and blues traditions in American roots music, having compiled many forgotten early recordings in these genres, he would incorporate 20th-century classical, Portuguese and Indian influences into his work. Fahey spent many of his years in poverty and poor health, but enjoyed a minor career resurgence in the late 1990s, with a turn towards the avant-garde, he created a series of abstract paintings in his final years. Fahey died in 2001 from complications from heart surgery. In 2003, he was ranked 35th on Rolling Stone magazine's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" list. Fahey was born into a musical household in Washington, D.
C. in 1939. Both his father, Aloysius John Fahey, his mother, played the piano. In 1945, the family moved to the Washington suburb of Takoma Park, where his father lived until his death in 1994. On weekends, the family attended performances of the top country and bluegrass acts of the day, but it was hearing Bill Monroe's version of Jimmie Rodgers' "Blue Yodel No. 7" on the radio that ignited the young Fahey's passion for music. In 1952, after being impressed by guitarist Frank Hovington, whom he met while on a fishing trip, he purchased his first guitar for $17 from a Sears, Roebuck Catalog. Along with his budding interest in the guitar, Fahey was attracted to record-collecting. While his tastes ran in the bluegrass and country vein, Fahey discovered his love of early blues upon hearing Blind Willie Johnson's "Praise God I'm Satisfied" on a record-collecting trip to Baltimore with his friend and mentor, the musicologist Richard K. Spottswood. Much Fahey compared the experience to a religious conversion.
As his guitar-playing and composing progressed, Fahey developed a style that blended the picking patterns he discovered on old blues 78s with the dissonance of 20th-century classical composers he loved, such as Charles Ives and Béla Bartók. In 1958, Fahey made his first recordings; these were for his friend Joe Bussard's amateur Fonotone label and were recorded under both the pseudonym "Blind Thomas" and under his own name. These recordings, individually pressed in small runs, were reissued in 2011 as a box set under the title Your Past Comes Back To Haunt You: The Fonotone Years 1958–1965. In 1959, Fahey recorded at St. Michaels and All Angels Church in Adelphi and that material would become the first Takoma record. Having no idea how to approach professional record companies and being convinced they would be uninterested, Fahey decided to issue his first album himself, using some cash saved from his gas station attendant job at Martin's Esso and some borrowed from Donald W. Seaton, an Episcopal priest at St. Michaels and All Angels.
Thus was born Takoma Records, named in honor of his hometown. One hundred copies of this first album were pressed. On one side of the sleeve was the name "John Fahey", he attempted to sell these albums himself. Some he gave away, some he sneaked into thrift stores and blues sections of local record shops, some he sent to folk music scholars, a few of whom were fooled into thinking that there was a living old blues singer called Blind Joe Death, it took three years for Fahey to sell the remainder of the records. After graduating from American University with a degree in philosophy and religion, Fahey moved to California in 1963 to study philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. Arriving on campus, Fahey the outsider, began to feel dissatisfied with the program's curriculum, he suggested that studying philosophy had been a mistake and that what he had wanted to understand was psychology. He was unimpressed with Berkeley's post-Beat Generation, proto-hippie music scene, loathing in particular the Pete Seeger–inspired folk-music revivalists he found himself classed with.
Fahey moved south to Los Angeles to join UCLA's folklore master's program at the invitation of department head D. K. Wilgus, received an M. A. in folklore in 1966. Fahey's master's thesis on the music of Charley Patton was published by Studio Vista in 1970, he completed it with the musicological assistance of his friend Alan Wilson, who would go on to be in the band Canned Heat. While Fahey lived in Berkeley, Takoma Records was reborn through a collaboration with Maryland friend ED Denson. Fahey decided to track down blues legend Bukka White by sending a postcard to Aberdeen, Mississippi; when White responded, Fahey and ED Denson decided to record White. These recordings became the first non-Fahey Takoma release. Fahey released a second album on the label in late 1963, Death Chants and Military Waltzes. To the duo's surprise, the Fahey release sold better than White's, Fahey had the beginnings of a career, his releases during the mid-1960s employed odd guitar tunings and sudden shifts in style rooted in the old-time and blues stylings of the 1920s.
But he was not a copyist, as compositions such as "When the Catfish Is in Bloom" or "Stomping Tonight on the Pennsylvania/Alabama Border" demonstrate. Fahey described the latter piece as follows:The opening chords are fr
Electric blues refers to any type of blues music distinguished by the use of electric amplification for musical instruments. The guitar was the first instrument to be popularly amplified and used by early pioneers T-Bone Walker in the late 1930s and John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters in the 1940s, their styles developed into West Coast blues, Detroit blues, post-World War II Chicago blues, which differed from earlier, predominantly acoustic-style blues. By the early 1950s, Little Walter was a featured soloist on blues harmonica or blues harp using a small hand-held microphone fed into a guitar amplifier. Although it took a little longer, the electric bass guitar replaced the stand-up bass by the early 1960s. Electric organs and keyboards became used in electric blues; the blues, like jazz began to be amplified in the late 1930s. The first star of the electric blues is recognized as being T-Bone Walker. After World War II, amplified blues music became popular in American cities that had seen widespread African American migration, such as Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, the West Coast.
The initial impulse was to be heard above the noise of lively rent parties. Playing in small venues, electric blues bands tended to remain modest in size compared with larger jazz bands. In its early stages electric blues used amplified electric guitars, double bass, harmonica played through a microphone and a PA system or a guitar amplifier. By the late 1940s several Chicago-based blues artists had begun to use amplification, including John Lee Williamson and Johnny Shines. Early recordings in the new style were made in 1947 and 1948 by musicians such as Johnny Young, Floyd Jones, Snooky Pryor; the format was perfected by Muddy Waters, who utilized various small groups that provided a strong rhythm section and powerful harmonica. His "I Can't Be Satisfied" was followed by a series of ground-breaking recordings. Chicago blues is influenced to a large extent by the Mississippi blues style, because many performers had migrated from the Mississippi region. Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and Jimmy Reed were all born in Mississippi and moved to Chicago during the Great Migration.
In addition to electric guitar, a rhythm section of bass and drums, some performers such as J. T. Brown who played in Elmore James's bands or J. B. Lenoir's used saxophones as a supporting instrument. Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson and Big Walter Horton were among the best known harmonica players of the early Chicago blues scene and the sound of electric instruments and harmonica is seen as characteristic of electric Chicago blues. Muddy Waters and Elmore James were known for their innovative use of slide electric guitar. Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters were for their deep, "gravelly" voices. Bassist and composer Willie Dixon played a major role on the Chicago blues scene, he composed and wrote many standard blues songs of the period, such as "Hoochie Coochie Man", "I Just Want to Make Love to You" and, "Wang Dang Doodle", "Spoonful" and "Back Door Man" for Howlin' Wolf. Most artists of the Chicago blues style recorded for the Chicago-based Chess Records and Checker Records labels, there were smaller blues labels in this era including Vee-Jay Records and J.
O. B. Records. In the late 1950s, the West Side style blues emerged in Chicago with major figures including Magic Sam, Jimmy Dawkins, Magic Slim and Otis Rush. West side clubs were more accessible to white audiences, but performers were black, or part of mixed combos. West side blues incorporated elements of blues rock but with a greater emphasis on standards and traditional blues song forms. Albert King, Buddy Guy, Luther Allison had a West Side style, dominated by amplified electric lead guitar. Memphis, with its flourishing acoustic blues scene based in Beale Street developed an electric blues sound during the early 1950s. Sam Phillips' Sun Records company recorded musicians such as Howlin' Wolf, Willie Nix, Ike Turner, B. B. King. Other Memphis blues musicians involved with Sun Records included Joe Hill Louis, Willie Johnson and Pat Hare who introduced electric guitar techniques such as distorted and power chords, anticipating elements of heavy metal music; these players had an influence on early rock & rollers and rockabillies, many of whom recorded for Sun Records.
After Phillips discovered Elvis Presley in 1954, the Sun label turned to the expanding white audience and started recording rock'n' roll. Booker T. & the M. G.'s carried the electric blues style into the 1960s. Detroit-based John Lee Hooker pursued a unique brand of electric blues based on his deep rough voice accompanied by a single electric guitar. Though not directly influenced by boogie woogie, his "groovy" style is sometimes called "guitar boogie", his first hit, "Boogie Chillen", reached #1 on the R&B charts in 1949. He continued to play and record until his death in 2001; the New Orleans blues musician Guitar Slim recorded "The Things That I Used to Do", which featured an electric guitar solo with distorted overtones and became a major R&B hit in 1954. It is regarded as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, contributed to the development of soul music. In the 1950s, blues had a huge influence on mainstream American popular music. While popular musicians like Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry, both recording for Chess, were influenced by the Chicago blues, their enthusiastic
Living the Blues
Living the Blues is the third album by Canned Heat, a double album released in late 1968. It was one of the first double albums to place well on album charts, it features Canned Heat's signature song, "Going Up the Country", which would be used in the Woodstock film. John Mayall appears on piano on "Walking by Myself" and "Bear Wires". Dr. John appears on "Boogie Music"; the 20-minute trippy suite "Parthenogenesis" is dwarfed by the album-length "Refried Boogie", recorded live. "Pony Blues" – 3:48 "My Mistake" – 3:22 "Sandy's Blues" – 6:46 "Going Up the Country" – 2:50 "Walking by Myself" – 2:29 "Boogie Music" – 3:00"Tell Me Man Blues" – 0:15 "One Kind Favor" – 4:44 "Parthenogenesis" – 19:57I Nebulosity II Rollin' and Tumblin' III Five Owls IV Bear Wires V Snooky Flowers VI Sunflower Power VII Raga Kafi VIII Icebag IX Childhood's End "Refried Boogie" – 20:10 "Refried Boogie" – 20:50 Canned HeatBob Hite – vocals Alan Wilson – slide guitar, harmonica, jaw-harp, chromatic harp Henry Vestine – lead guitar Larry Taylor – bass, congas Adolfo de la Parra – drumsAdditional PersonnelDr.
John – horn arrangements, piano Miles Grayson – horn arrangements John Fahey – guitar John Mayall – piano Jim Horn – flute Joe Sample – piano ProductionRich Moore – Engineer Ivan Fisher – Assistant Engineer Skip Taylor – Producer Canned Heat – Producer Planer, Lindsay. "Living the Blues – Album Review". Allmusic. Retrieved December 10, 2010
Freddie King was an American blues guitarist and singer. He recorded several hits for Federal Records in the early 1960s, his soulful and powerful voice and distinctive guitar style inspired countless musicians guitarists. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. King based his guitar style on Texas Chicago blues influences, his best-known recordings include the early instrumentals "Hide Away", "San-Ho-Zay," and "The Stumble". The album Freddy King Sings showcased his singing talents and included the record chart hits "You've Got to Love Her with a Feeling" and "I'm Tore Down", he became involved with more rhythm and blues- and rock-oriented producers and was one of the first bluesmen to have a multiracial backing band at live performances. According to his birth certificate he was named Fred King, his parents were Ella Mae King and J. T. Christian; when Freddie was six years old, his mother and his uncle began teaching him to play the guitar. In autumn 1949, he and his family moved from Dallas to the South Side of Chicago.
In 1952 King started working in a steel mill. In the same year he married Jessie Burnett, they had seven children. As soon as he had moved to Chicago, King started sneaking into South Side nightclubs, where he heard blues performed by Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, T-Bone Walker, Elmore James, Sonny Boy Williamson. King formed his first band, the Every Hour Blues Boys, with the guitarist Jimmie Lee Robinson and the drummer Frank "Sonny" Scott. In 1952, while employed at a steel mill, the eighteen-year-old King worked as a sideman with such bands as the Little Sonny Cooper Band and Earl Payton's Blues Cats. In 1953 he recorded with the latter for Parrot Records; as the 1950s progressed, King played with several of Muddy Waters's sidemen and other Chicago mainstays, including the guitarists Jimmy Rogers, Robert Lockwood Jr. Eddie Taylor, Hound Dog Taylor. In 1956 he cut his first record for El-Bee Records; the A-side was a duet with Margaret Whitfield. The B-side was a King vocal. Both tracks feature the guitar of Robert Lockwood, Jr. who during these years was adding rhythm backing and fills to Little Walter's records.
King was rejected in auditions for the South Side's Chess Records, the premier blues label, the home of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter. The complaint was that King sang too much like B. B. King. A newer blues scene, lively with nightclubs and upstart record companies, was burgeoning on the West Side, though; the bassist and producer Willie Dixon, during a period of estrangement from Chess in the late 1950s, asked King to come to Cobra Records for a session, but the results have never been heard. Meanwhile, King established himself as the biggest musical force on the West Side, he played along with Magic Sam and reputedly played backing guitar, uncredited, on some of Sam's tracks for Mel London's Chief and Age labels, though King does not stand out on them. In 1959 King got to know Sonny Thompson, a pianist, A&R man for Cincinnati's King Records. King Records' owner, Syd Nathan, signed King to the subsidiary Federal Records in 1960. King recorded his debut single for the label on August 26, 1960: "Have You Ever Loved a Woman" backed with "You've Got to Love Her with a Feeling".
From the same recording session at the King Studios in Cincinnati, King cut the instrumental "Hide Away", which the next year reached number five on the R&B chart and number 29 on the Pop chart, an unprecedented accomplishment for a blues instrumental at a time when the genre was still unknown to white audiences. It was released as the B-side of "I Love the Woman". "Hide Away" was King's melange of a theme by Hound Dog Taylor and parts by others, such as "The Walk", by Jimmy McCracklin, "Peter Gunn", as credited by King. The title of the tune refers to Mel's Hide Away Lounge, a popular blues club on the West Side of Chicago. Willie Dixon claimed that he had recorded King performing "Hide Away" for Cobra Records in the late 1950s, but such a version has never surfaced. "Hide Away" became a blues standard. After their success with "Hide Away," King and Thompson recorded thirty instrumentals, including "The Stumble," "Just Pickin'," "Sen-Sa-Shun," "Side Tracked," "San-Ho-Zay," "High Rise," and "The Sad Nite Owl".
They recorded vocal tracks throughout this period but released the tunes as instrumentals on albums. During the Federal period, King toured with many notable R&B artists of the day, including Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, James Brown. King's contract with Federal expired in 1966, his first overseas tour followed in 1967, his availability was noticed by the producer and saxophonist King Curtis, who had recorded a cover of "Hide Away", with Cornell Dupree on guitar, in 1962. Curtis signed King to Atlantic in 1968, which resulted in two LPs, Freddie King Is a Blues Master and My Feeling for the Blues, produced by Curtis for the Atlantic subsidiary Cotillion Records. In 1969 King hired Jack Calmes as his manager, who secured him an appearance at the 1969 Texas Pop Festival, alongside Led Zeppelin and others, this led to King's signing a recording contract with Shelter Records, a new label established by the rock pianist Leon Russell and the record producer Denny Cordell; the company treated King as an important artist, flying him to Chicago to the former Chess studios to record the album Getting Ready and providing a lineup of top session musicians, including Russell.
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Takoma Park, Maryland
Takoma Park is a city in Montgomery County, Maryland. It is a suburb of Washington, D. C. and part of the Washington metropolitan area. Founded in 1883 and incorporated in 1890, Takoma Park, informally called "Azalea City", is a Tree City USA and a nuclear-free zone. A planned commuter suburb, it is situated along the Metropolitan Branch of the historic Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, just northeast of Washington, D. C. and it shares a border and history with the adjacent neighborhood of Takoma, Washington, D. C, it is governed by an elected mayor and six elected councilmembers, who form the city council, an appointed city manager, under a council-manager style of government. The city's population was 16,715 at the 2010 national census. Since 2013, residents of Takoma Park can vote in municipal elections, it was the first city in the United States to extend voting rights to 16- and 17-year-olds in city elections. Since the City of Hyattsville has done the same. Takoma Park was founded by Benjamin Franklin Gilbert in 1883.
It was one of the first planned Victorian commuter suburbs, centered on the B&O railroad station in Takoma, D. C. and bore aspects of a trolley park. Takoma was the name of Mount Rainier, from Lushootseed,'snow-covered mountain'. In response to a wish of Gilbert, the name Takoma was chosen in 1883 by DC resident Ida Summy, who believed it to mean'high up' or'near heaven'; the city of Tacoma in Washington State is named after Mount Takhoma. Gilbert's first purchase of land was in spring 1884 when he bought 100 acres of land from G. C. Grammar, known as Robert's Choice; this plot of land was located on both sides of the railroad station bounded by today's Sixth Street on the west, Aspen Street on the south, Willow Avenue on the east, Takoma Avenue on the north. At the time, much of the land was covered by thick forest, some of, cleared away in order to lay out and grade streets and housing lots. At its founding, most lots were sold for $327 to $653 per acre. By August 1885, there were about 100 people living in Takoma Park, including temporary summer residents and year-round permanent residents.
Gilbert himself lived in a wooden house with 20 rooms and a 65-foot tower. Gilbert purchased another plot of land in 1886; the land was bounded by Carroll Avenue to the Big Spring and what is now Woodland Avenue. Gilbert named this land New Takoma. Gilbert purchased the Jones farm and the Naughton farm, which together he named North Takoma, he purchased land from Francis P. Blair, Richard L. T. Beale, the Riggs family. Gilbert hired contractor Fred E. Dudley to build many of the homes in Takoma Park. One of the homes built by Dudley was the home of Cady Lee, which still stands today at Piney Branch Road and Eastern Avenue. Dudley's son Wentworth was the first child born in Takoma Park. By 1888, there were 75 houses built in the community, the number increased to 235 homes by 1889. In 1889, Gilbert purchased several acres of land along Sligo Creek from a physician in Boston named Dr. R. C. Flower, in order to build a sanitarium on the land. By this point, Takoma Park stretched 1,500 acres; the deed of each of the original houses prohibited alcohol from being made or sold on the property, a prohibition that continued in the city until 1983.
Takoma Park incorporated as a town on April 3, 1890. The first town election was held on May 5, 1890, Gilbert was elected mayor and J. Vance Lewis, George H. Bailey, Daniel Smith, Frederick J. Lung were elected to the town council; the Watkins Hotel was built in 1892. A fire destroyed the town's built commercial district and the Watkins Hotel in 1893. Gilbert's North Takoma Hotel was built that year, advertising the pure spring water nearby its 160 rooms. Many of the streets were known as avenues; when the Commissioners of the District of Columbia mandated a District-wide street-naming system, those on the District side were renamed streets but retained their names otherwise. Other streets in Takoma, D. C. were renamed entirely. Susquehanna Avenue became Whittier Street. Tahoe Street was renamed Aspen Street. Umatilla Street became Aspen Street. Vermilion Street became Cedar Street. Wabash Street was renamed Dahlia Street. Aspin became Elder Street. Magnolia Street became Eastern Avenue. In 1904, the Seventh-day Adventist Church purchased five acres of land in Takoma Park along Carroll Avenue, Laurel Avenue, Willow Avenue.
The land was located on both sides of the Maryland-District of Columbia border. The land was intended for a church, office building and residences for prominent members of the church. In 1903, the Seventh-day Adventist Church decided to move their headquarters to the Washington area after its headquarters' publishing house in Battle Creek, had burned to the ground; the church decided that moving to a more urban setting would be a more appropriate place from which to increase the church's presence in the southern states. The church purchased fifty acres of land along Sligo Creek in Takoma Park to build the new headquarters; the land was away from downtown Washington and had clean water available from a natural spring located at present-day Spring Park. For many decades Takoma Park served as the world headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, until it moved to northern Silver Spring in 1989. In 1908, North Takoma Hotel was bought by Louis Denton Bliss, who turned it into Bliss Electrical School.
Months a fire destroyed the building, Bliss rebuilt the school at another site. The school was bought by Montgomery County where it became the site of Montgomery College's Takoma Park/Silver
John Lee Hooker
John Lee Hooker was an American blues singer and guitarist. The son of a sharecropper, he rose to prominence performing an electric guitar-style adaptation of Delta blues. Hooker incorporated other elements, including talking blues and early North Mississippi Hill country blues, he developed his own driving-rhythm boogie style, distinct from the 1930s–1940s piano-derived boogie-woogie. Some of his best known songs include "Boogie Chillen'", "Crawling King Snake", "Dimples", "Boom Boom", "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer". Several of his albums, including The Healer, Mr. Lucky, Chill Out, Don't Look Back, were album chart successes in the U. S. and U. K; the Healer and Chill Out both earned him Grammy wins as well as Don't Look Back, which went on to earn him a double-Grammy win for Best Traditional Blues Recording and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. Hooker's date of birth is a subject of debate. Most sources give 1917, though at times Hooker stated he was born in 1920. Information in the 1920 and 1930 censuses indicates that he was born in 1912.
In 2017, a series of events took place to celebrate the purported centenary of his birth. In the 1920 federal census, John Hooker is seven years old and one of nine children living with William and Minnie Hooker in Tutwiler Mississippi, it is believed that he was born in Tutwiler, Mississippi, in Tallahatchie County, although some sources say his birthplace was near Clarksdale, in Coahoma County. He was the youngest of the 11 children of William Hooker, a sharecropper and Baptist preacher, Minnie Ramsey. In the 1920 federal census and Minnie were recorded as being 48 and 39 years old which implies that Minnie was born about 1880, not 1875, she was said to have been a "decade or so younger" than her husband, which gives additional credibility to this census record as evidence of Hooker's origins. The Hooker children were homeschooled, they were permitted to listen only to religious songs. In 1921, their parents separated; the next year, their mother married William Moore, a blues singer, who provided John Lee with an introduction to the guitar.
Moore was his first significant blues influence. He was a local blues guitarist who, in Shreveport, learned to play a droning, one-chord blues, strikingly different from the Delta blues of the time. Another influence was Tony Hollins, who dated Hooker's sister Alice, helped teach Hooker to play, gave him his first guitar. For the rest of his life, Hooker regarded Hollins as a formative influence on his style of playing and his career as a musician. Among the songs that Hollins reputedly taught Hooker were versions of "Crawlin' King Snake" and "Catfish Blues". At the age of 14, Hooker ran away from home never seeing his mother or stepfather again. In the mid-1930s, he lived in Memphis, where he performed on Beale Street, at the New Daisy Theatre and at house parties, he worked in factories in various cities during World War II getting a job with the Ford Motor Company in Detroit in 1943. He frequented the blues clubs and bars on Hastings Street, the heart of the black entertainment district, on Detroit's east side.
In a city noted for its pianists, guitar players were scarce. Hooker's popularity grew as he performed in Detroit clubs, seeking an instrument louder than his acoustic guitar, he bought his first electric guitar. Hooker was working as janitor in a Detroit steel mill when his recording career began in 1948, when Modern Records, based in Los Angeles, released a demo he had recorded for Bernie Besman in Detroit; the single, "Boogie Chillen'", became a hit and the best-selling race record of 1949. Despite being illiterate, Hooker was a prolific lyricist. In addition to adapting traditional blues lyrics, he composed original songs. In the 1950s, like many black musicians, Hooker earned little from record sales, so he recorded variations of his songs for different studios for an up-front fee. To evade his recording contract, he used various pseudonyms, including John Lee Booker, Johnny Lee, John Lee, John Lee Cooker, Texas Slim, Delta John, Birmingham Sam and his Magic Guitar, Johnny Williams, the Boogie Man.
His early solo songs were recorded by Bernie Besman. Hooker played with a standard beat, but instead he changed tempo to fit the needs of the song; this made it difficult to use backing musicians, who were not accustomed to Hooker's musical vagaries. As a result, Besman recorded Hooker playing guitar and stomping on a wooden pallet in time with the music. For much of this period he toured with Eddie Kirkland. In Hooker's sessions for Vee-Jay Records in Chicago, studio musicians accompanied him on most of his recordings, including Eddie Taylor, who could handle his musical idiosyncrasies. "Boom Boom" and "Dimples", two popular songs by Hooker, were released by Vee-Jay. Beginning in 1962, Hooker gained greater exposure when he toured Europe in the annual American Folk Blues Festival, his "Dimples" became a successful single on the UK Singles Charts in 1964, eight years after its first US release. Hooker began to record with rock musicians. One of his earliest collaborations was with British blues rock band the Groundhogs.
In 1970, he recor