Veneration

Etta James

Etta James

Etta James (January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012) Jamesetta Hawkins was born to a Los Angeles prostitute, brought up..
Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown ran away from home at 17 to follow her dream of singin’ in a band. After a DJ..
Hubert Sumlin

Hubert Sumlin

Remember this name: Hubert Sumlin. You’ve heard his incredible guitar sound. All that started when Hubert was just eight years old,..
Little Willie John

Little Willie John

He lived fast, died young, and left behind a legacy of incredible—but largely forgotten—recordings. Little Willie John was just five..
Election Day Blues

Election Day Blues

It’d actually be a bad idea to talk politics on this show. I wouldn’t wanna alienate anyone. But it’s true..
Halloween Blues

Halloween Blues

It’s been called the Devil’s Music. And it’s not just cause there’s a lot of singing about whiskey and women...
Sonny Terry

Sonny Terry

Sonny Terry never thought about a music career. He did well in school, and liked farming. Wanted to grow up,..
Jelly Roll Morton

Jelly Roll Morton

He was born Ferdinand Joseph Lamothe. But history knows him as Jelly Roll Morton—the genius piano player whose stomps and..
Paul Simon

Paul Simon

When you hear the name Paul Simon you might not think of the Blues. But Paul Simon knows his blues...
Koko Taylor

Koko Taylor

She was born Cora Walton, but she loved chocolate so much she changed her name to Koko. Growing up outside..
Ray Charles

Ray Charles

Ray Charles shook up the nation when he took sacred music and made it sexy.  There’s one track he wrote..
David Bromberg

David Bromberg

As a college student in the 1960’s, a young guitarist named David Bromberg found himself smack dab in the middle..
Charles Brown

Charles Brown

Unlike your stereotypical blues man, Texas-born Tony Russell Brown, called Charles, was highly educated. He graduated from college with a..
Jimmy Reed

Jimmy Reed

In the 1950s a young singer named Mathis James Reed failed his audition for Chess Records. He was a popular..
Billy Preston

Billy Preston

At age three Billy Preston taught himself to play piano. By age ten he’d graduated to the organ—backing the likes..
John Lee Hooker

John Lee Hooker

Black Hat. Dark Sunglasses. Sound like a Blues Brother to you? It is. The original Blues Brother. Inspiration to Jake..
Eric Bibb

Eric Bibb

Eric Bibb grew up in music. His dad was a major player in the New York folk scene of the..
Mike Bloomfield

Mike Bloomfield

Guitar prodigy Michael Bloomfield was a wealthy Jewish kid who loved the blues. A left-handed social-outcast with such a passion..
Bill Withers

Bill Withers

Bill Withers wrote and performed some of the best-loved, most covered songs of all time. But he didn’t even pick up..
Lazy Lester

Lazy Lester

It’s rural Louisiana, the 1950’s. Leslie Johnson takes a seat on a bus, and starts talkin’ to the man next..
Vera Hall

Vera Hall

If you’ve ever been to a bar or a nightclub, you’ve probably heard this song. It’s called “Natural Blues” and it’s..
Jackie Wilson

Jackie Wilson

If you wanna know where Elvis, James Brown and Michael Jackson learned their moves…look no further than Jackie Wilson. Jackie Wilson..
Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

You’d be hard pressed to find a more influential—or more prolific—songwriter than Bob Dylan. From his early days writing protest songs...
Joe Cocker

Joe Cocker

Joe Cocker (20 May 1944 – 22 December 2014) Joe Cocker. Immortalized at Woodstock. Lampooned by John Belushi. Best known..
Big Joe Turner

Big Joe Turner

Standin’ at six foot two and weighing over three hundred pounds—there’s a reason Joe Turner’s called Big Joe Turner. But..
Ann Peebles

Ann Peebles

Ann Peebles was born in East St. Louis. Her father ran a church, and she grew up singing in his..
Al Green

Al Green

Remember this name if you don’t know it already: Al Green. The Reverend Al Green to you. Cause you know..
Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters

McKinley Morganfeld is literally one of the most important names in all of music history. Really, you say? McKinley Morganfeld?..
April Fools

April Fools

As long as there’ve been songs there’s been fools to sing ‘em and fools to sing about in ‘em. And..
Wilson Pickett

Wilson Pickett

Wilson Pickett. An Alabama gospel singer who climbed the charts and altered the course of music history. You know the..
Lloyd Price

Lloyd Price

Born in Louisiana, Lloyd Price made a killing from the start. His very first recording for Specialty Records in 1952 became..