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Posts Tagged ‘B. B. King’

Died On This Date (December 20, 2012) Jimmy McCracklin / West Coast Blues Great

Posted by themusicsover on December 20, 2012

Jimmy McCracklin
August 13, 1921 – December 20, 2012

jimmy-mccracklinOver a career that spanned almost 70 years, Jimmy McCracklin made some of the finest jump blues to ever come out of California.  Born in the south, McCracklin settled just outside of San Francisco after serving in the Navy during WWII.  Influenced by blues piano great, Walter Davis, he cut his first record, “Miss Mattie Left Me,” for Globe Records in 1948.  In 1957, he released what has become his signature song, “The Walk,” whose re-release by Checker Records a year later reached #7 on the Billboard pop chart while cracking the top 5 on the R&B chart.  Its popularity also earned him a slot on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.  As a songwriter, McCracklin is credited with “Stomp,” which became hits for Lowell Fulson, Otis Redding, Carla Thomas, and Salt-n-Pepa.  Over his long and prolific career, he wrote 1000s of songs, made 100s of records, released 30 albums (four of them gold), and played with the likes of B.B. King and Charles Brown.  Obviously an influence on many, a couple of notables who have sourced McCracklin as a favorite are Bob Dylan and Phil Alvin of the Blasters.  Jimmy McCracklin performed, wrote and recorded well into the 2000s and ultimately passed away on December 20, 2012.  He was 91.

Thanks to Kevin Walsh for the assist.

What You Should Own

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My Story - Jimmy McCracklin

Posted in Blues, Musician, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Died On This Date (November 16, 2012) Bernard Lansky / Clothier To Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison And More

Posted by themusicsover on November 16, 2012

Bernard Lansky
1927 – November 16, 2012

Bernard Lansky was a longtime Memphis clothing retailer who, along with his brother, Guy Lansky owned Lansky Brothers on Beale Street.  Since the early ’50s, the Lansky brothers helped create a visual image for celebrities who appreciated their store’s simple yet classic suits.  The long list of their musical clientele over the years included Rob Orbison, Isaac Hayes, Robert Plant, Dr. John, Johhny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King, Steven Tyler, and most famously, Elvis Presley.  One day back in 1952, Bernard invited a 17-year-old Presley into the store after seeing him continually window-shop outside his store.   Presley, who was working at a local movie theater at the time, remarked to Bernard that he was going to buy him out if he ever made enough money.  To that Bernard replied, “Don’t buy me, buy from me!”, and that is exactly what Presley did when he ultimately made it big. It was Lansky who put Presley in the suit he wore for that first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.   And from then on, Presley was one of Lansky Broters’ most loyal customers, and in return, the Lanskys opened the shop for him late at night so he could shop in peace and even hand-delivered suits to Graceland to try on.  When Presley died in 1977, it was Bernard who selected the suit and tie that he was buried in.  Bernard Lansky was 85 when he passed away on November 16, 2012.

Thanks to Henk de Bruin for the asssist.


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Died On This Date (August 4, 2012) Johnnie Bassett / Detroit Blues Great

Posted by themusicsover on August 4, 2012

Johnnie Bassett
October 9, 1935 – August 4, 2012

Johnnie Bassett was an American electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter who, over the course of a career that spanned some 60 years, worked as a band leader as well as an in-demand session player for many of music’s biggest names.  The list of those that the self-taught guitarist played with includes B.B.King, T-Bone Walker, John Lee Hooker, Smokey Robinson, and Ruth Brown.  After moving from Florida to Detroit during the mid ’40s, Bassett began making a name for himself at area talent shows and backing local singers.  After a stint in the Army, he found work back in Detroit as a session player for the great Fortune Records and later, Chess Records.  It was while at Chess that Barrett played on The Miracles’ first single, 1958’s “Get A Job.”  He eventually found himself in Seattle where he played with Ike & Tina Turner and Little Willie John.  He also ran with a young local up-and-coming guitarist by the name of Jimi Hendrix.  Bassett landed back in Detroit where, during the mid ’90s, he began releasing his own albums.  His last album was the excellent I Can Make That Happen, released just a few weeks before he passed away.  Johnnie Bassett died of cancer on August 4, 2012.  He was 76.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus for the assist.

What You Should Own

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I Can Make That Happen - Johnnie Bassett

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Died On This Date (March 8, 2012) Bugs Henderson / Texas Blues Great

Posted by themusicsover on March 8, 2012

Buddy “Bugs” Henderson
1943 – March 8, 2012

Bugs Henderson was a Dallas, Texas area blues great who, for the better part of the past 50 years has been playing the kind of electric blues that keeps the crowds on their collective feet.  Henderson was just a teenager working in a local record store when he would sneak out of his house to check out the latest bands performing in nearby roadhouses.  By 1966 he was playing in a band, Mouse and the Traps, who scored a regional hit with “Public Execution.”  By the early ’70s, Henderson was an in-demand studio player while establishing himself as a local draw on the stage.  Over the years, he either opened for, or shared the stage with the likes of the Allman Brothers, Leon Russell, Freddie King, Ted Nugent, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, and B.B. King.   Bugs Henderson died from complications of liver cancer on March 8, 2012.  He was 69.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus for the assist.


What You Should Own

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Bugs Henderson

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Died On This Date (September 6, 2012) Wardell Quezergue / New Orleans R&B Legend

Posted by themusicsover on September 6, 2011

Wardell Quezergue
March 12, 1930 – September 6, 2011

Photo by Chris Granger

Wardell Quezergue was without a doubt one of the most important figures in New Orleans R&B for the better part of the last 60 years. It was during the ’40s that Quezergue began making his mark on the music world as a member of Dave Bartholomew’s band.  After a stint in the Army band in Korea, he settled back in New Orleans where he formed his own group and label, and began arranging pieces for the likes of Fats Domino and Professor Longhair.  As Quezergue’s reputation as an arranger and producer grew, so did the list of artists who wanted to employ his services.  Over the year’s that list grew to include the likes of the Dixie Cups (“Iko Iko”), Jean Knight (“Mr. Big Stuff”), Aaron Neville, Paul Simon, the Spinners, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, and Dr. John for whom he produced and arranged the Grammy-winning Goin’ Back To New Orleans.  Sadly, Quezergue lost most of his possessions to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but a fund-raiser by many leading musicians helped him get back on his feet.   Wardell Quezergue was 81 when he died of congestive heart failure on September 6, 2011.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus of the Bob Dylan Examiner for the assist.

What You Should Own

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Wardell Quezergue

Posted in Arranger, Jazz, Musician, Producer, R&B | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »