- T-Bone Walker
Infobox musical artist
Name = T-Bone Walker
Img_size = 250
Landscape = yes
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Aaron Joseph Walker
Alias = Greyson Daniel Surges,
Born = Birth date|1910|5|26
Linden, Texas, United States
Died = Death date and age|1975|3|16|1910|5|28
California, United States
Blues, Texas blues
Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Pianist
Years_active = 1929 - 1975
Label = Columbia, Capitol, Black & White, Imperial, Atlantic, Polydor, Duke
Aaron Thibeaux Walker or T-Bone Walker or Oak Cliff T-Bone (
May 26 1910— March 15 1975) was an American blues guitarist, singer, pianist and songwriterwho was one of the most important pioneers of the electric guitar. His solos were among the first heard on modern blues recordings and set a standard that is still followed.
Walker was born in
Linden, Texasof African Americanand Cherokeedescent. When he was a young man his family moved to a region of south Dallas known as Oak Cliffwhere he met and learned from Blind Lemon Jefferson, another blues musician. [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:apfwxqy5ldfe~T1 All Music Guide biography] ] Walker's recording debut was "Wichita Falls Blues"/"Trinity River Blues", recorded for Columbia Recordsin 1929 under the name Oak Cliff T-Bone.
His distinctive sound did not develop until 1942, when Walker recorded "Mean Old World" for
Capitol Records. His electric guitar solos were among the first heard on modern blues recordings and set a standard that is still followed. [Some music historians cite Ernest Tubb's 1940 honky tonk classic, "Walking the Floor over You" as the first "hit" recording to feature and highlight a solo by a standard electric guitar--though earlier hits featured electric lap steel guitars. The blues master Lonnie Johnsonhad also recorded at least once on electric guitar, but his innovation was neither much noted nor influential.]
Much of Walker's output was recorded from 1946–1948 on
Black & White Records, including 1947's " Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just As Bad)", with its famous opening line, "They call it stormy Monday, but Tuesday's just as bad". He followed up with his "T-Bone Shuffle" and "Let Your Hair Down, Baby, Let's Have a Natural Ball". Both are considered blues classics. B. B. Kingsays "Stormy Monday" first inspired him to take up the guitar. The songwas also a favorite live number for The Allman Brothers Band.
Following his work with Black & White, he recorded from 1950-54 for
Imperial Records(backed by Dave Bartholomew). Walker's only record in the next five years was "T-Bone Blues", recorded over three widely separated sessions in 1955, 1956 and 1959, and finally released by Atlantic Recordsin 1960.
By the early 1960s, Walker's career had slowed down, in spite of a hyped appearance at the
American Folk Blues Festivalin 1962 with Memphis Slimand Willie Dixon, among others. A few critically acclaimed albums followed, such as "I Want a Little Girl". Walker recorded in his last years, 1968 - 1975, for Robin Hemingway's Jitney Jane Songs music publishing company, and he won a Grammy Award in 1971 for "Good Feelin"' ( Polydor), produced by Robin Hemingway. "Fly Walker Airlines", Polydor, also produced by Hemingway, was released in 1973.
T-Bone Walker died of a stroke in 1975, at the age of 64. He is interred in the
Inglewood Park Cemeteryin Inglewood, California.
Walker's influence extended beyond his music.
Chuck Berrycalled Walker and Louis Jordan(as well as Jordan's guitarist, Carl Hogan) his main influences. T-Bone Walker was the childhood hero of Jimi Hendrix, and Hendrix imitated some of Walker's ways throughout his life. Years before Hendrix, Walker was playing guitar with his teeth or in strange positions.cite book
title= The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray
publisher= Carlton Books Limited
pages= p. 58-59
id= ISBN 1-85868-255-X]
*"The Complete Imperial Recordings 1950-1954", Imperial/EMI, 1991, CDP-7-96737-2
*"T-Bone Blues", Atlantic, 1960, 8020
*"Good Feelin"', Polydor, 1970
*"Fly Walker Airlines", Polydor, 1973
*"Very Rare", Reprise Records, 1975
List of blues musicians
List of people from Texas
Music of Texas
West Coast blues
First rock and roll record
* [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:fvb1z85ajyvo~T1 All Music Guide biography]
* [http://www.rockhall.com/hof/inductee.asp?id=206 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame biography]
* [http://www.blues.org/halloffame/inductees.php4?YearId=25 Blues Foundation Hall of Fame]
* [http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/tbonewalker T-Bone Walker] at
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.