(May 27, 1932 – November 18, 1971)
As a young man, Junior Parker learned harmonica licks from Sonny Boy Williamson. Not from Sonny Boy’s records. From Sonny Boy himself. Junior played with Howlin’ Wolf and B.B. King. He even started out as one of the Beale Streeters with BB and Bobby Blue Bland before movin’ up to center stage. Soon enough Junior was his own star on the chitlin circuit. Known for his velvet vocals—and ability to churn out hits.
Recognize that song? You might know it from this version. Also called Mystery Train. What you just heard there from Elvis is actually a mashup of two Junior Parker hits. “Mystery Train” of course. But that memorable guitar riff was actually lifted from another tune called “Love My Baby.” Junior Parker’s known for people covering his songs. But he liked to strike out at other men’s gold too. Recorded his own versions Beatles’ favorites for instance. Now here’s the main course, his definitive version of a true classic. Junior Parker with “Drivin’ Wheel.”