JOHN LEE HOOKER
22 August 1917, Clarksdale, Mississippi, USA. Born into a large family of agricultural workers, Hooker's first musical experiences, like those of so many other blues singers, were in church. At the age of 14, he ran away to Memphis, Tennessee, where he met and played with Robert Lockwood. In 1948 he was finally given the chance to record. Accompanied only by his own electric guitar and constantly tapping foot, BOOGIE CHILLEN with its driving rhythm and hypnotic drone of an accompaniment, was a surprise commercial success for Modern Records. Over the next several years, he released many albums.
In the early '60s his reputation grew as he was often cited by younger pop and rock musicians, in particular the Rolling Stones, as a major influence.
A remarkable transformation came in 1989 when he recorded THE HEALER. This superb album featured guests on most tracks including Bonnie Raitt, Los Lobos and arguably the finest track, a duet with Carlos Santana on the title track. If such a thing as 'latin blues' existed, this was it. This album has since become one of the biggest selling blues albums of all time and has helped fuel a blues revival in prompting older statesmen to record again. MR LUCKY reached number 3 in the UK album charts, setting a record for Hooker, at 74, as the oldest artist to achieve that position. On this second guest album he was paired with Ry Cooder, Van Morrison, Albert Collins and a gamut of other superstars.
He died on Thursday 22 June 2001, almost at the age of 84 and still young...
A picture of Anton Corbijn
of this great man with humour and great ability, most of all with his incredible 'style'. . .
Updated 22 June 2001 by Nick.
Shine On John!