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Today in Music – 1917 – John Lee Hooker was born – Pass the Bourbon, Scotch and Beer!

John Lee HookerSo on Wednesday August 22, 1917 in Coahoma County near Clarksdale, Mississippi John Lee Hooker one of the most influential blues musicians across several generations was born. From Wikipedia

John Lee Hooker (August 22, 1917 – June 21, 2001) was a highly influential American blues singer-songwriter and guitarist.

Hooker began his life as the son of a sharecropper, William Hooker, and rose to prominence performing his own unique style of what was originally a unique brand of country blues. He developed a ‘talking blues’ style that was his trademark. Though similar to the early Delta blues, his music was metrically free. John Lee Hooker could be said to embody his own unique genre of the blues, often incorporating the boogie-woogie piano style and a driving rhythm into his blues guitar playing and singing. His best known songs include “Boogie Chillen'” (1948), “I’m in the Mood” (1951) and “Boom Boom” (1962), the first two reaching #1 on the Billboard R&B chart. Continue Reading

While Hooker influenced many blues rockers in the sixties and seventies, It really wasn’t until the 1980s that he became know by the public. In 1980 he appeared and sang in the 1980 movie The Blues Brother. John Belushi modeled the looked of Jake Blues after Hooker. Then in 1989….

… he joined with a number of musicians, including Carlos Santana and Bonnie Raitt to record the album The Healer, for which he and Santana won a Grammy Award. Hooker recorded several songs with Van Morrison, including “Never Get Out of These Blues Alive”, “The Healing Game” and “I Cover the Waterfront”. He also appeared on stage with Van Morrison several times, some of which was released on the live album A Night in San Francisco. The same year he appeared as the title character on Pete Townshend’s The Iron Man: A Musical.

Through the years my favorite Hooker song has always been “One Bourbon, One Scotch,and One Beer” but I usually hear someone else like George Thurgood or John Lee Hooker Jr. performing it.

Anyway here’s Carlos Santana and John Lee performing “The Healer”….. Happy Birthday, John Lee Hooker wherever you are…. America misses you!!