JB Lenoir Screen from tv recording american folk and blues festival German TV

4 SONGS by J.B. Lenoir: Blues’ Poetic protest singer

He was a blues singer with more social and political themes in his music than any other blues artist around. a man who’s lyrics were so politically critic that it made him notorious. Like that day in the 1950s when his “Eisenhower Blues” was politically potent enough to warrant investigation by the House of un-American activities. 

J.B. Lenoir blues ballad “How Much More”

There is so much to learn from J.B. Lenoir these days in the field of music activism, but first, you’ve got to enjoy his swinging blues songs which are a big part of his repertoire. Cause besides his protest songs, he also recorded blues love ballads like “How Much More”, a song that features the heartache of waiting for love poetically. He sings on a honky tonk and grooving rhythm “If I should die and should die before my time, If I should die, and should die before my time; Don’t you forget, you forever on my mind”.

How long? How much more long, how long?
How long? How much more long, how long?
How long, ‘fore you bring your love
back home?

From Mississippi to New Orleans and Chicago

Fascinating about J.B. Lenoir’s life is the journey he traveled.  At a young age, this guy was being prepared for a life in music. His father and guitar teacher introduced him to Blind Lemon Jeffersons music, in his native  Monticello , Mississippi. He performed with his father in Mississippi but left because of racial discrimination. He later recalled “After the way they treat my daddy I was never goin’ to stand that no kind of way.”

As a teenager, he traveled to New Orleans where you should imagine seeing him chill with greats like Sonny Boy Williamson II and Elmore James who he met while working in a bar. In Chicago, he also meet up with Big Bill Broonzy who introduced him to the cities blues music scene. In the Chicago Nightclubs, he met Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. J.B. Lenoir will always have something unique. He sang over subjects that were happening at the time and putted just a little bit creativity more in his music.

Politically critic  blues songs

In the fifties and sixties, J.B. Lenoir wrote some political critic songs like “Eisenhower Blues“, which Parrot Records forced him to rename to “Tax Paying Blues.” In the sixties, his “Alabama Blues” was inspired by the Civil Rights Movement. “The Korea Blues” in the early fifties and the “Vietnam Blues“, which is a scream to the president to think about lives instead of killing.

“Mister President you always cry about peace, but you must clean up your house before you leave
Oh how you cry about peace, but you must clean up your house before you leave
How can you tell the world how we need peace, and you still mistreat and killin’ poor me”

J. B. Lenoir: Korea Blues

J.B. Lenoir Death in 1967

He died on April 29, 1967, in Urbana, Illinois, at the age 38, of internal bleeding related to injuries he had suffered in a car crash three weeks earlier, which had not been properly treated in a hospital in Illinois.

J.B. Lenoir Eisenhower Blues

J.B. Lenoir – Alabama Blues

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