Veneration

Super Chikan

Super Chikan

If you’re lucky enough to travel to Clarksdale, Mississippi, you’ll see some super cool, super weird guitars hanging around. They’re..
Josh White

Josh White

While other Bluesmen were fighting for women and whiskey, Josh White was fighting for equality. A large portion of his..
Lonnie Johnson

Lonnie Johnson

Lonnie Johnson (February 8, 1899 – June 16, 1970) Growin’ up in New Orleans, Lonnie Johnson learned to play music..
Elmore James

Elmore James

As a kid, Elmore James taught himself to play guitar by stringing up a broom wire on the side of..
Lead Belly

Lead Belly

He was born Huddie Ledbetter, on a Louisiana plantation. A big man, terribly strong. And all that strength was matched..
Bo Diddley

Bo Diddley

He was born Otha Ellas Bates McDaniels…but you know him as Bo Diddley. Still can’t picture the man? Well, have..
Pops Staples

Pops Staples

There’ve been many important guitarists – blues, jazz, rock. But when we’re talkin’ gospel guitar there’s one name that shines...
Santa Claus Blues

Santa Claus Blues

When you got the Blues, it don’t matter the season.  They head on down the chimney anyway.  But Christmas brings..
Little Milton

Little Milton

When James Milton Campbell Jr. was a kid growing up in Greenville, Mississippi, he was drawn to all kinds of..
J. Geils Band

J. Geils Band

At first, they called themselves Snoopy and the Sopwith Camels. A trio from Worcester, Mass.  Three college students who played..
Brownie McGhee

Brownie McGhee

In 1941, Okeh Records had a problem.  Best selling artist Blind Boy Fuller had just died suddenly from kidney disease...
Hank Ballard

Hank Ballard

The Twist. One of Rock n’ Rolls biggest hits. Been called the song and dance that changed the world. And..
Bukka White

Bukka White

It was 1961. The very beginning of the folk blues revival. An up and comin’ young folk singer recorded a..
Train Blues

Train Blues

The “Father of the Blues” W.C. Handy claims he was at a train station in 1903 when he first heard..
Mahalia Jackson

Mahalia Jackson

“She has a once in a millennium voice.”  That’s what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said about Mahalia Jackson. She..
Snooky Pryor

Snooky Pryor

The man called Snooky, born James Edward Pryor, picked up the harmonica at age 14, despite the objections of his..
Barbecue Bob

Barbecue Bob

Robert Hicks was working as a cook at a barbecue stand in Atlanta when he was discovered by a Columbia..
Memphis Slim

Memphis Slim

He came into the world in Memphis as John Len Chatman, and took the name Peter to honor his father, who ran..
Wynonie Harris

Wynonie Harris

It’s 1954, and an ambitious white boy has just released his second single for Sun Records. It’s called “Good Rockin’..
Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes

There’s a whole generation that knows him best for his catchphrase— Hello there, children! But Isaac Hayes…he’s much more than South Park’s..
Texas Blues

Texas Blues

Texas blues sprung up out of the land. From oil fields. Lumber yards. Levee Camps. But there’s really only one..
Washboard Sam

Washboard Sam

Washboard Sam (July 15, 1910 – November 6, 1966) Born in 1910, the man known as Washboard Sam was the..
Louis Jordan

Louis Jordan

He was the King of the Jukebox.  One of the first black artists to achieve crossover success. He was a..
Willie Dixon

Willie Dixon

You probably don’t realize it, but you’re speakin’ Shakespeare. Thousands of the words we use everyday were coined by the..
Clifton Chenier

Clifton Chenier

CLIFTON CHENIER (June 25, 1925 – December 12, 1987) Grammy winning Creole King Clifton Chenier shook up the blues with..
Juneteenth

Juneteenth

President Abraham Lincoln had, quote, “freed” the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. But it took two..
Pinetop Smith

Pinetop Smith

Pinetop Smith (June 11, 1904 – March 15, 1929) I always thought the name Pinetop came from the pine top..
Memphis Minnie

Memphis Minnie

Memphis Minnie (June 3, 1897 – August 6, 1973) The lady born Elizabeth ‘Kid’ Douglas, chewed tobacco while she sang...
Marie Knight

Marie Knight

Marie Knight (June 1, 1925 – August 30, 2009) It was 1946. Marie Knight was fresh out of the church..
T-Bone Walker

T-Bone Walker

T-Bone Walker (May 28, 1910 – March 16, 1975) They call it Stormy Monday, but Tuesday’s just as bad. If..
Junior Parker

Junior Parker

Junior Parker (May 27, 1932 – November 18, 1971) As a young man, Junior Parker learned harmonica licks from Sonny..
Fats Waller

Fats Waller

Fats Waller (May 21, 1904 – December 15, 1943) At 10 years old Thomas Wright Waller was already playin’ the organ..
Jack Bruce

Jack Bruce

You know the songs.  Sunshine of your Love, White Room.  And you know the band right? Cream? Well do you..
Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith

A mean temper, with a mouth like a sailor, a penchant for whiskey, and a taste for both men and..