Sunday, July 11, 2010

EDDIE GUITAR SLIM JONES, a great song from an artist who traveled the road from Jazz/Blues to R&B to early Rock & Roll

EDDIE "GUITAR SLIM" JONES (from Wikipedia... yes, sometimes it's a reliable source)

Early life

Eddie "Guitar Slim" Jones was born in Greenwood, Mississippi, United States.[3] His mother died when he was five, and his grandmother raised him, as he spent his teen years in the cotton fields. He spent his free time at the local juke joints and started sitting in as a singer or dancer; he was good enough to be nicknamed "Limber Leg."[4]
[edit] Recording career

After returning from World War II military service, he started playing clubs around New Orleans, Louisiana. Bandleader Willie D. Warren introduced him to the guitar, and he was particularly influenced by T-Bone Walker and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown.[3] About 1950 he adopted the stage name 'Guitar Slim' and started becoming known for his wild stage act. He wore bright-colored suits and dyed his hair to match them, had an assistant follow him around the audience with up to 350 feet of cord between amplifier and guitar,[5] and would occasionally get up on his assistant's shoulders, or even take his guitar outside the club and bring traffic to a stop.[citation needed] His sound was just as unusual — he was playing with distorted guitar more than a decade before rock guitarists did the same, and his gospel-influenced vocals were easily identifiable.[6]

He got together with Muddy Waters in Los Angeles, California for some lively playing.[7]
[edit] Recordings

His first recording session was in 1951, and he had a minor rhythm and blues hit in 1952 with "Feelin' Sad", which Ray Charles covered. His biggest success was "The Things That I Used to Do" (1954).[3] The song was released on Art Rupe's Specialty Records label.[8] The song spent weeks at number one on the R&B charts and sold over a million copies, soon becoming a blues standard.[1]

He recorded on many labels, including Delmark Records and Specialty Records.[9] The recordings made in 1954 and 1955 for Specialty are his best.[10]
[edit] Death

His career having faded, Guitar Slim became an alcoholic, and then died of pneumonia in New York City at age thirty-two.[10] Guitar Slim is buried in a small cemetery in Thibodaux, Louisiana, where his manager, Hosea Hill, resided.
[edit] Influence on later musicians

Buddy Guy, Albert Collins [5] and Frank Zappa[11] were influenced by Slim. Stevie Ray Vaughan recorded a cover version of "The Things That I Used to Do".[12]

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