Tag Archives: John Lee Hooker

Detroit’s Electric Harmonica King Little Sonny

Detroit’s Electric Harmonica King Little Sonny


It was an instrumental song called “The Creeper Returns” that really raised my attention about the artist Little Sonny. Amazed by the grooving harmonica that takes you by the hand, I got more interested in this Detroit Bluesman and harmonica player. In the encyclopidias you read that around 1955 Little Sonny hopped on a bus and found himself in Detroit, in the middle of the blues. Little Sonny was born in Alabama but moved in 1953 to the Motor City.

New King of the Blues  Harmonica

In Detroit He  hung out with his namesake, Sonny Boy Williamson II who provided him with some harmonica tips, but it was his mother who gave him that name. In Detroit Little Sonny develepod his harmonica style alongside John Lee Hooker, Eddies Burns and Kirkland.

He worked in a car lot by day, in the night he would walk from bar to bar to make a little money taking pictures and hoping for a chance to sit in with the musicians onstage. After a session with Wasboard Sam he was offered a regular gig for three nights in the week by the club owner.

In 1970 Little Sonny released his, in my opinion best album “New King of the Blues Harmonica for Enterprise Records, a division of Stax Records.  This album contains some of the best blues Harmonica you will find. Compare it to Little Walter or Junior Wells, but you will notice it is down and out grooving City Blues.

Blues or Baseball

A Funny Fact about Little Sonny is that his main interest before the Blues was Baseball. On the website of Stax Records he recalls: “He played on sandlot teams in Alabama for a few years before moving to Detroit seventeen years ago. “I knew no baseball scout was going to see me as far back in the woods as I was. I didn’t really have aspirations of being a musician when I came to Detroit. But then, I saw Sonny Boy Williamson.”

Second Album for Stax Black and Blue

According to the Stax Labe Little Sonny Flew for his second album, Black and Blue released in 1972 , Sonny flew to the Stax studios in Memphis and recorded eleven sides in one weekend. It was the #1 blues album in Detroit and #3 on the local LP charts.

Photo Credit: By Arthur Siegel, FSA-OWI [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons Continue reading Detroit’s Electric Harmonica King Little Sonny

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Tommy Tucker’s 60s Hit record- Hi Heel Sneakers

Tommy Tucker’s 60s Hit record- Hi Heel Sneakers

He released his biggest hit “Hi-heel Sneakers in 1964 and sold more than a million copies of it! Tommy Tucker was for some time a big shot in the world of blues. He toured alongside Ray Charles and Dionne Warwick and spent some time in Europe. 

Cover Versions Tommy Tucker

When Tommy Tucker recorded “Hi-Heel Sneakers for Checker Records back in 1963 I guess he could never expect the influence of this song. It was covered by many musicians including Tom Jones, Junior Wells, John Lee Hooker and  Jerry Lee Lewis.

After retirement from the music industry in the late sixties Tommy Tucker woked as a real-estate agent and wrote for a local newspaper.

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Blues Songs in the Remix John Lee Hooker

John Lee Hooker photo flicr creative commons mtphrames
John Lee Hooker photo flicr creative commons mtphrames

Blues Songs in the Remix

The blues has been an inspiration for musicians for over a century. Even now some of the biggest hits around are inspired by great blues music. And therefore we post some of the best remixes of the blues on this website. We earlier wrote about Son House, Muddy Waters and Keb´ Mo´, today blues legend John Lee Hooker, who is very well remixed by JPod an Canadian DJ.

Shake it Baby Original

JOHN LEE HOOKER – Shake it Baby from ZX on Vimeo.

 

Jpod Remix of the blues: John Lee Hooker

Ha-ha-ha
Shake that thing, Baby
One time for your Daddy
I love ya
You’re cookin’ when you jive
Honey, you’re workin’
You’ve got the pots on
And the gas workin’ high

What we like about this remix is the rhythm and the way Jpod keeps the original structure of the song alive. He adds some funky drums and keys and turns is into a happy feeling groove cocktail.

JPOD’s trademark sound is a tasteful fusion of soulful sounds with crispy rhythms and bold basslines. He uses hip-hop breakbeats and bouncy electro basslines as the foundation for organic expressions of world, reggae, folk, bluegrass and more.

JPOD is online at Soundcloud and Facebook, follow him here.

JPOD also owns a digital label called Swing Set Sounds which seeks to arm DJs not only with great music but also with tools to create their own custom remixes.

Shake It Baby JPOD Blues Remix John Lee Hooker

Lyrics Shake It Baby

Shake it Baby
Shake it Baby
Shake it Baby
Show me
Show me
come on Gal
Shake it right now

W-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-H Yeah!
Shake it Baby
Shake it Baby
Shake that thing

Me an’ you
Me an’ you
Nobody else would do
Nobody else but you
Shake it Baby
Shake it Baby
Shake it Baby
One time
One time for me
Now rock!

Ha-ha-ha
Shake that thing, Baby
One time for your Daddy
I love ya
You’re cookin’ when you jive
Honey, you’re workin’
You’ve got the pots on
And the gas workin’ high

One time for me
One time for me
One time for me
Shake Baby
Shake it Baby
Shake it Baby
Shake it Baby
Shake that thing
Shake that thing
Shake that thing
Shake that thing
One time, Baby
One time
One time
One time
One time
One more time
One more
An’ one more
An’ one more
One more time
One more time
One more time
One more time
One more time
One more time
Just one more time
And, uh, one more time
Once again
One time
And one more time
And one more time
And one more time
One more time, Baby
Shake it Baby
One more time
For me
For me
For me
For me
For me
For me

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Charles Caldwell, the forgotten blues great

Charles Caldwell, the forgotten blues great

An example of a bluesman who never got the fame he deserved is Charles Caldwell. A Mississippi musician who can easily be compared with Lightning Hopkins or John Lee Hooker, R.L. Burnside or Junior Kimborough. Caldwell who was born in may 1943 near Coffeeville, Yalobushi-county Mississippi spent most of his life working at an industrial plant.

Caldwell begun playing the blues as ateenager, for over fourty years Charles Caldwell songs stayed unrecorded. Nevertheless, he made little fame at the local juke joints.

Charles Caldwell’s blues recording

Fat Possum Records owner Matthew Johnson met Caldwell and offered him to record some songs. Charles Caldwell accepted the offer. It resulted in the fantastic original Delta Blues album Remember Me.

Johnson writes on the website of Fat Possum: “seeing Charles Caldwell play changed everything for me. He still enjoyed playing; he was charismatic; he had a presence. In my view, Charles would be the next bomb, a last, undiscovered bastion of a dying breed. Did he want to make a record? Hell yes.”

Charles Caldwell Remember me

Remember Me is an album absolutely worth listening. It reminds of later albums of R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimborough. It has the same deep Delta blues and rhythmic guitar sound.

For Vinyl lovers there is some good news: the album is available on vinyl. check it out here.

Charles Caldwell – Same Man

Charles Caldwell – Down The Road Of Love

Charles Caldwell – Movin’ Out Movin’ In

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Most recorded songs: Baby Please Don’t Go

Most recorded songs: Baby Please Don’t Go

Baby Please Don’t Go was originally recorded by Big Joe Williams in 1935 on Bluebird records. Big Joe could never for see the influence the song would have on music history. This song is recorded, performed and sang in so many versions by so many musicians. For that, I put some of my favourite versions in line. Continue reading Most recorded songs: Baby Please Don’t Go

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