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Saturday, February 4, 2023

The Blueprint for Blues Music: 10 Great Things about John Lee Hooker

Introduction

John Lee Hooker was one of the most influential musicians in the history of the blues origin. He had a distinctive sound and fantastic talent, recording over 100 albums. 

This article will examine ten great things about a man who helped to create the blueprint of the blues origin and he is one of the greatest blues legends of all, Mr. John Lee Hooker

blueprint, john lee hooker, blues legends, blues origin
UNSPECIFIED – CIRCA 1970: Photo of John Lee Hooker Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hooker’s sound was raw, gritty, and uniquely his own.

As a blues artist, Hooker’s sound was raw and gritty. The sounds of Robert Lockwood Jr. and Blind Lemon Jefferson, both country music and jazz, influenced Hooker and influenced his contemporaries. 

In addition to his guitar playing, Hooker used a chair for percussion—a technique that became popularised when he played with Muddy Waters’ band in the 1960s.

Other artists recorded his songs.

You might think the most obvious benefit of being a blues singer is having your song become popular, which would be true if John Lee Hooker hadn’t beat you to it. 

In 1952, his song “Boogie Chillen” was released as a single and became one of the first songs by an African-American artist to be a hit on both R&B and pop charts.

As it turns out, Hooker wasn’t just good at writing his songs; he also made other people’s work sound great. 

The Rolling Stones covered him in their early days (and even named themselves after an early Stones track). 

Led Zeppelin incorporated bits from “Boogie Chillen” into their classic tune “Whole Lotta Love,” while Eric Clapton sampled Hooker’s guitar solo on “I’m In The Mood” for his song “Layla.”

He was awarded an honorary degree.

John Lee Hooker is the only African American to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Washington. 

He earned this honor in 1999 and was awarded one from Berklee College of Music in 1992 (the first time they had ever granted such a degree).

His fame rose in the 1960s and 70s.

Hooker’s fame rose in the 1960s and 1970s. He influenced the blues revival movement, which was popular among the hippie countercultures. Hooker significantly influenced Bob Dylan, who covered many of his songs.

Tony Hollins gave John Lee Hooker his first guitar.

Hooker was given his first guitar by Tony Hollins, an itinerant bluesman who befriended Hooker’s father. The young John Lee Hooker was twelve years old when he received the instrument.

One of his signature songs is “Boom Boom.”

One of Hooker’s most notable songs is “Boom Boom,” released on his first album in 1960. Written by John Lee Hooker and his wife, Nellie, the song tells the story of a woman who isn’t faithful to her husband. 

Many artists have covered the song over the years, including Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, John Lennon and George Harrison of The Beatles, and Elvis Presley.

He didn’t study to play the guitar until he worked on a farm.

John Lee Hooker was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, on August 22, 1917. His family moved to Dyess, Arkansas, when he was two years old due to financial hardship. 

He worked on a farm in his teenage years and learned how to play the guitar there. His stepdad, who worked at the farm, encouraged him to learn this instrument because it would help him find work as a musician later in life.

He took public transportation during his early career as a musician

He never wanted to be a burden to anyone, and to be independent of his family, he had to learn how to support himself as a musician.

This humble attitude eventually helped him become one of history’s most prolific blues singers.

He sometimes used a chair as a drum kit.

John Lee Hooker was so well-known for his songs that it became common for him to play in clubs. 

This meant he had to improvise when the drummer didn’t show up. He often used a chair as a drum kit, putting his foot on the seat and tapping out a bass line with his hands. Sometimes he used the chair to tap out rhythms or even entire songs.

His biggest influences were Blind Lemon Jefferson and Robert Lockwood Jr.

John Lee Hooker was a blues singer and guitarist who had a massive impact on American music. 

Many artists influenced him, but his most significant influences were Blind Lemon Jefferson, and Robert Lockwood Jr. John Lee Hooker also had great humor, which is why we love him so much.

Blind Lemon Jefferson was a famous blues guitarist who lived until the early 1930s. He played the guitar with just one finger (on his left hand), which gave him an unusual style that became very popular during his lifetime (you can see how he did it in this video).

Robert Lockwood Jr. was another famous blues guitarist from Mississippi who played with B.B. King in their band.

John Lee Hooker was exceptional

The first thing you should learn about John Lee Hooker is that he was fantastic. He had a relaxed style and an easygoing personality, which made it seem like he was having fun with his music. This helps explain why so many people think of him as one of history’s best blues singers and musicians.

Countless musicians have imitated John Lee Hooker’s style, sound, and songwriting over the years, but there are only a few artists who can match the soulfulness that he brought to his songs—and even fewer who can make it look easy to do so.

Conclusion

And that’s the kind of guy John Lee Hooker was. He didn’t care what people thought and just did his own thing. And it’s a good thing because many people have enjoyed his music since he first started playing in the 1940s.

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