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Posts Tagged ‘Alexis Korner’

Died On This Date (January 7, 1964) Cyril Davies / British Blues Musician

Posted by themusicsover on January 7, 2012

Cyril Davies
January 23, 1932 – January 7, 1964

Cyril Davies was one of the pioneers of the British blues movement of the 1960s.  He began his career during the ’50s when he actually played the banjo in an acoustic skiffle group.  He soon switched to the harmonica, eventually becoming Britain’s first Chicago blues style player.  In 1962, he and fellow musician, Alexis Korner, opened the popular Ealing Club.  It was there that they founded Blues Incorporated, a highly influential electric blues band that counted Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and Charlie Watts as members over the years.   The club became hangout for up-and-coming musicians like Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones and Eric Burden who generally ended up jamming together by the end of the night.   Cyril Davies was 31 when he died on January 7, 1964.  Cause of death was either leukemia, lung cancer or pleurisy, depending upon your source.


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Died On This Date (July 21, 2005) Long John Baldry / British Blues Great

Posted by themusicsover on July 21, 2010

John Baldry
January 12, 1941 – July 21, 2005

Long John Baldry was an English born (and later Canadian) blues singer who played a pivotal role in the British blues rock scene of the 1960s.  A towering presence at 6′-7”, Baldry was nicknamed Long John and had a booming voice to go with it.  He was one of the first British singers of note to perform in blues clubs.  As part of Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated during the early ’60s, Baldry sang on the first ever British blues album, R&B From The Marquee.  During those early years, Baldry performed with a who’s who of future rock superstars including Rod Stewart, Jack Bruce, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards.  In fact, it is Baldry voice you hear introducing the Rolling Stones on their album Got Live If You Want It.  In 1967, Baldry released the single, “Let The Heartaches Begin” which shot to #1 on the UK charts.  Not long after, he found himself consoling a distraught Elton John (with whom he performed in Bluesology) who had tried to commit suicide after a failed relationship with a woman.  Baldry, who was openly gay, talked John out of marrying the woman and helped him come to terms with his sexuality.  John returned the favor by writing one of his beloved songs, “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” about Baldry.  Baldry eventually migrated to and became a citizen of Canada where he continued to make records and launched a lucrative career as a voice-over actor.  His final album, 1997’s Right To Sing The Blues earned the Juno Award for Best Blues Album.  But his voice could still be heard in animated features until 2003.  Long John Baldry died of a lung infection on July 21, 2005.  He was 64.

What You Should Own

It Still Ain't Easy - Long John Baldry

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Died On This Date (January 1, 1984) Alexis Korner / Founding Father Of British Blues

Posted by themusicsover on January 1, 2010

Alexis Korner
April 19, 1928 – January 1, 1984

Alexis Korner has been rightfully called the “Founding Father of British Blues.”  In 1955, Korner and fellow blues enthusiast and musician Cyril Davies opened the London Blues and Barrelhouse Club so there would be a place in town for American blues artists to play.  It would be the first exposure to American blues music that many young Londoners ever  had.  Korner and Bond soon formed Blues Incorporated, an electric band whose ever-changing roster included Charlie Watts, Ginger Baker, Long John Baldry, Graham Bond, and Jack Bruce.  Future greats like Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, John Mayall, and Jimmy Page and Brian Jones were all fans and occasionally sat in with the band.  By 1966, Blues Incorporated was over and Korner moved over to British television where he was an entertainment news correspondent for a children’s program.  The ’70s and ’80s found Korner working in a few different jazz- and blues-centric groups.  He died of lung cancer on January 1, 1984 at the age of 55.

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