Buddy Miles and Jimi Hendrix
Reblogged from bluesfolkcountry
Alonzo “Lonnie” Johnson (February 8, 1899 – June 16, 1970) was an American blues and jazz singer/guitarist and songwriter who pioneered the role of jazz guitar and is recognized as the first to play single-string guitar solos. Johnson was not only one of the few black blues musicians invited to be ‘guest featured’ on a number of jazz recording sessions, he was also one of the only classic 1920’s blues artists to have a revived a high-charting career after WWII. Johnson was born in Orleans Parish, New Orleans, Louisiana and raised in a family of musicians. He studied violin, piano and guitar as a child, and learned to play various other instruments including the mandolin, but concentrated on the guitar throughout his professional career. “There was music all around us,” he recalled, “and in my family you’d better play something, even if you just banged on a tin can.”… In 1925 Lonnie married, and his wife Mary soon began to pursue a blues career… Mary… states that her interest in writing and performing blues material began when she started helping Lonnie write songs, and developed from there. Curiously enough, the two never recorded together. They had six children before their divorce in 1932… In December 1927, Johnson recorded in Chicago as a guest artist with Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five… In 1928 he recorded “Hot and Bothered”, “Move Over”, and “The Mooche” with Duke Ellington on Okeh records… He pioneered the guitar solo on the 1927 track “6/88 Glide” and many of his early recordings showed him playing 12-string guitar solos… He excelled in purely instrumental pieces, some of which he recorded with the white jazz guitarist Eddie Lang, whom he teamed up with in 1929. These recordings were among the first in history to feature black and white musicians performing together, but Lang was credited as Blind Willie Dunn to disguise the fact… After World War II, Johnson made the transition to rhythm and blues… and had reported sales of three million copies… His career had been a roller coaster ride that sometimes took him away from music. In between great musical accomplishments, he had found it necessary to take menial jobs that ranged from working in a steel foundry to mopping floors as a janitor… In March 1969, he was hit by a car while walking on a sidewalk in Toronto. Johnson was seriously injured, suffering a broken hip and kidney injuries… He was able to return to the stage for one performance at Massey Hall on February 23, 1970, walking with the aid of a cane to sing a couple of songs with Buddy Guy and receiving a standing ovation. He died on June 16, 1970 and was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Toronto. At the time, Johnson was reported to have been “virtually broke.” In 1993, Smithsonian Folkways released The Complete Folkways Recordings, Johnson’s anthology of music on Folkways Records. He had been featured on several compilation blues albums, on Folkways, beginning in the 1960s, but had never released a solo album on the label in his lifetime… Lonnie Johnson’s early recordings are the first guitar recordings that display a single-note soloing style with use of string bending and vibrato. While it cannot be proven that this contains the influence of earlier players who did not record, it is the origin of Blues and Rock solo guitar. Johnson’s influence is obvious in Django Reinhardt, T-Bone Walker and virtually all electric blues guitar players. One of Elvis Presley’s earliest recordings was Johnson’s blues ballad, “Tomorrow Night”… In 1957, it was also recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis. - Wikipedia
One of my favorites for sure!
Mississippi John Hurt in the sixties