The Blues Foundation
011 - Louis Jordan

011 - Louis Jordan

June 14, 2017

The Blues Foundation Podcast - Season 1: Blues Hall of Fame 

No one had more fun than Louis Jordan. You can hear it in his music. As “King of the Jukebox”, his high energy, hip-shaking “jump blues” enjoyed the kind of crossover success people once considered unimaginable. 
In his heyday, Jordan had at least 4 hits that sold over a million copies.

Just a poor kid from the cotton fields of Brinkley, Arkansas, Jordan developed a highly efficient approach to music. He stripped the 15-piece jazz orchestra down to five essential instruments, and kept those five instruments busy. He laced swing with boogie-woogie, brought in the electric guitar (and later the electric organ), and at the end of the day, what do you think he ended up with?

That’s right…. Louis Jordan gave us rock n roll.

This is his story.

Louis Jordan inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1983. 

012 - Muddy Waters

012 - Muddy Waters

June 28, 2017

The Blues Foundation Podcast - Season 1: Blues Hall of Fame 
 
We continue the series with the man who brought electricity to the blues, and the blues to the big city, Muddy Waters. 

Born McKinley Morganfield in 1913 in Issaquenna, MS, he grew up on the Stovall Plantation just outside of Clarksdale. There, young Muddy fell under the influence and tutelage of the travelling bluesmen that came to perform there. Bluesmen like the great Son House and the king of the delta blues himself, Robert Johnson. 

Muddy moved to Chicago in 1943, taking with him his acoustic guitar and repertoire of delta blues songs and riffs. Feeling ignored by the crowds in the busy Chicago clubs, he traded in his acoustic for an electric guitar and the rest was history. 
 
Muddy Waters inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980. 

013 - Roy Brown

013 - Roy Brown

July 12, 2017

The Blues Foundation Podcast - Season 1: Blues Hall of Fame 
 
Roy Brown may be best known for writing the iconic, genre-warping song "Good Rockin’ Tonight."

Brown had a hit with it, then it was re-recorded by his hero Wynonie Harris, who also had a hit with it. Just a few years after that, further cementing the songs rightful place in music history, Elvis Presley recorded the song for Sun Records.

But there was more to Brown than Good Rockin'. You know that powerful, quivering, pleading, shouting manner in which most of today’s great singers sing? We take it for granted these days, but it wasn’t always like that.

That style of singing comes from the African American church. And when Roy Brown first brought that feel and phrasing to blues music, it was a social and cultural taboo. 

That’s right, all that good rockin’ and all that soulful shouting that took over popular music can be traced back to the blues of Roy Brown.

This is his story. 

Roy Brown inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1981.

014 - John Lee Hooker

014 - John Lee Hooker

July 26, 2017

The Blues Foundation Podcast - Season 1: Blues Hall of Fame 
 
Is there a bluesman more iconic than John Lee Hooker

His face, his eyes, his austere silhouette on stage, that deep southern drawl, that one-chord boogie... everything about the man was distinct and original. 

Where did it all come from? Like many bluesmen of his generation, he grew up in the country and didn’t have much use for school. He much preferred skipping class and practicing guitar. Yet John Lee wrote some of the most original and most influential blues songs of all time: “Boogie Chillun”, “Boom Boom”, “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”. And he crafted a completely unique sound along the way that continues to influence musicians to this day. 

This is his story. 
 
John Lee Hooker inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980. 

015 - Sam Phillips

015 - Sam Phillips

August 9, 2017

The Blues Foundation Podcast - Season 1: Blues Hall of Fame 
 
We continue our series with one of the most electrifying individuals in the history of popular music, maverick producer Sam Phillips.

Sam was an audio engineer, a talent scout, a producer, a studio owner, and a record label owner. He approached all these endeavors with unbridled enthusiasm, an unparalleled sense of showmanship, and keen understanding of the levers of human psychology.

His "laboratory" (aka Memphis Recording Service) delivered groundbreaking efforts from B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, Rufus Thomas, Junior Parker, James Cotton, and countless others.

In fact, Sam Phillips' legacy was established long before Elvis walked through his front door.

This is his story. 
 
Sam Phillips inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1998. 

016 - Rufus Thomas

016 - Rufus Thomas

August 23, 2017

The Blues Foundation Podcast - Season 1: Blues Hall of Fame 
 
We continue the series with the “world’s oldest teenager,” Rufus Thomas. 

Rufus Thomas contained multitudes, as they say. His talents and the personality behind those talents knew no bounds. 

Rufus’ professional career began at the age of six taking small roles in theatrical productions on Beale Street. As a teenager he starred on the vaudeville and minstrel show circuits that crisscrossed the south. He was a singer, a dancer, a comedian, a radio DJ… and what’s truly incredible is that he excelled at all those things. 

From Beale Street to Sun Records to superstardom at Stax. Vaudeville, blues, rock n roll, soul. Even funk! Rufus did it all. 
 
Rufus Thomas inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001. 

017 - Don Robey

017 - Don Robey

September 6, 2017

The Blues Foundation Podcast - Season 1: Blues Hall of Fame

Gatemouth Brown once said of Don Robey, “He pulled off something in America that no one else ever pulled off. We had the only world-renowned black recording company.”

That “recording company” included the legendary Peacock and Duke record labels, boasting stars like Johnny Ace, Bobby Blue Bland, Little Richard, and Big Mama Thornton. It also included chains of retail record stores, pressing plants, print shops, a booking agency, and a circuit of nightclubs. It was a giant musical eco-system all under Don Robey's ruthless thumb.

Don Robey launched the careers of countless stars and shaped the business side of rhythm and blues music for generations.

This is his story. 
 
Don Robey inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2014. 

018 - Fats Domino

018 - Fats Domino

September 20, 2017

The Blues Foundation Podcast - Season 1: Blues Hall of Fame 
 
Fats Domino was born into a musical, French Creole family in the Lower 9th in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1928. His first language was Creole French. 

His talents blossomed early. His musical gifts, along with his laid back and easygoing demeanor, created a lot of demand - everybody wanted to work with Fats. 

He had his first hit by the time he was 21, and he invented New Orleans-style rock n roll with it. That 1949 hit for Imperial Records - "The Fat Man" - sold over a million copies by 1953 and is considered the first rock n roll record to achieve that feat. A succession of hits soon followed: "Aint that a Shame", "Blueberry Hill", and "I’m Walkin’". 

By the end of his career, Fats Domino had sold more records than any other 1950’s rocker except for Elvis Presley. 
 
Fats Domino inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2003. 

019 - Ray Charles

019 - Ray Charles

October 4, 2017

The Blues Foundation Podcast - Season 1: Blues Hall of Fame 
 
Ray Charles, blind since the age of 7 and orphaned at 14, did blues, jazz, and gospel as well as anyone before or since.

And, by doing them all together at once, he pioneered what we soon came to recognize as Soul.

That’s right. Ray Charles is the father of that whole genre.

Furthermore, he took these forms of Black American music, mingled them just enough with contemporary pop sounds and had massive crossover success. Ray Charles was one of the very first African American artists to be granted full, creative control of his career by a major record label.

Ray Charles had a nickname. Some say it was given to him by Sinatra himself. However he got it, it stuck, and people referred to him as "The Genius."

Pretty appropriate, don’t you think?

This is his story.

Ray Charles inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1982.

020 - Honeyboy Edwards

020 - Honeyboy Edwards

October 18, 2017

The Blues Foundation Podcast - Season 1: Blues Hall of Fame 
 
Honeyboy Edwards was Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen.

Born to a poor, but very musical family, his early life consisted of hard labor in the fields. His prodigious talents soon took him away from all that, and his life became a journey through the pages of blues history.

Edwards was Robert Johnson’s close friend and traveling companion. In fact, he was with Johnson the night he was poisoned and died in 1938.

Honeyboy Edwards called many of the first generation of bluesmen both friends and collaborators. He played with Charlie Patton, Tommie Johnson, and Johnny Shines. He later played guitar behind John Lee Hooker, Big Joe Williams, and Muddy Waters.

Edwards believed in the blues and he believed in doing things without all the flash. He was humble, understated, and consistently great at working alongside the superstars of the delta blues for 8, long decades.

This is his story. 
 
David “Honeyboy” Edwards inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1996. 

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