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Blues Hall of Fame - Seven Decades of Electric Blues

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Showing 1-13 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 17, 2008 10:07:14 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 18, 2008 8:56:24 PM PST
There is a Blues Hall of Fame in Tennessee. But if YOU were identifying inductees for a new Blues Hall of Fame and could pick three musicians from each decade, who would they be? Must be alive, and preferably (not mandatory) playing in the chosen decade. If you pick ones no one else has picked, bonus! Stretch on this one and think about some of the great sidemen as well as the stars. Then, also pick your Top 3 Non-Performers. There's plenty of room in this Hall, but this discussion is about the Best of the Best, not the rest of the rest. You only get to vote once...and doors close at 9:00 sharp!

Here are my picks for the 7-decades of electric blues.
1940's - T-Bone Walker, Louis Jordan, B.B. King
1950's - Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter Jacobs
1960's - Magic Sam, Otis Spann, Earl Hooker
1970's - Hound Dog Taylor, Big Walter Horton, Freddie King
1980's - Fred Below, Luther Tucker, Otis Rush
1990's - Albert King, Jimmy Rogers, Dave Myers
2000's - Mr. Robert Jr. Lockwood, Johnnie Johnson, Francis Clay
Top Non-Performers:
Leonard Chess, Willie Dixon, Bruce Iglauer

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2008 3:58:26 PM PST
Jim says:
I guess I should have paid better attention. Our local blues show has been doing Bues By Decade. Very good stuff. We have a four hour show every Saturday evening.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2008 4:07:19 PM PST
TS says:
Blues-n-Trouble - You may need another nomination for the 1980's. Unfortunately for all of us, Freddie King died in 1976.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2008 4:08:57 PM PST
Now this is one cool topic! Very interesting and great picks, although the list is obviously extra heavy on Chicago cats. I will point out however that Freddie King passed away in 1976, so according to your guidelines, would not be eligible for the '80s.

Here are mine (and I will make my choices based on their influence and impact, not necessarily who I think is the "Best.") (and when they passed away definitely dictated what decade a lot of mine are listed just so I could include all of these names, under your guidelines):

'40s - Lonnie Johnson, T-Bone Walker, Louis Jordan
'50s - Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter
'60s - Elmore James, Otis Spann, Rice Miller (Sonny Boy Williamson II)
'70s - Jimmy Reed, Freddie King, Lightnin' Hopkins
'80s - Albert King, Paul Butterfield, Stevie Ray Vaughan
'90s - B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins
2000s - John Mayall, Johnny Winter, Eric Clapton

Top Non-Performers:
Willie Dixon (although is was obviously a performer as well)
Leonard Chess
Sam Phillips

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2008 5:48:37 PM PST
Bacco says:
Well to me (and who am I anyway)
The Charter members of the Blues Hall of Fame would have to be:
Robert Johnson
T-Bone Walker
B.B. King and
Muddy Waters
Then you would have to add (in no particular order) :
Buddy Guy, Albert King, Freddie King, Albert Collins, Eric Clapton, John Mayall, Peter Green, Hubert Sumlin, Otis Spann, Magic Sam, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Lightnin' Hopkins, Elmore James, Willie Dixon, James Coton , Sonny Boy Williamson, Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield, Duane Allman, Alexis Korner, Graham Bond, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Roy Buchanan, Johnny Winter, John Lee Hooker, Little Walter, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Junior Wells, Ray Charles, Howlin Wolf, Stevie Ray Vaughn,, Canned Heat , The Rolling Stones, The Animals, Ten Years After, The Yardbirds, Savoy Brown, Siegal -Schwall, The Blues Project,KokoTaylor, Taj Mahal, Janis Joplin, Bessie Smith, Big Mama Thornton, Otis Rush, Jimmy Rodgers, Mick Taylor, Etta James, Brownie McGee and Sonny Terry for now. Next Year we'll nominate: Elvin Bishop, Dickie Betts and Shuggie Otis.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2008 6:39:11 PM PST
M. J. Gawlik says:
Oh brother, I'm staying away from this one.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2008 8:38:46 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 18, 2008 8:55:17 PM PST
TS & Donald E. Erickson,
Thanks. A lesson in always pay attention to your list as you type. Fred Below was '80's and Freddie 70's and I probably reversed them because I always associate Freddie with Tucker, Otis Rush (and Magic Sam) who were friends/guitarists in Chicago while teens. But, that's no excuse. Thanks for picking that up. Glad somebody's on top of this forum.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2008 8:51:43 PM PST
My fault, I didn't include pictures with the directions. Like a man with Alzheimer's, it didn't take long to lose the directions and forget the choices. It's 8:45 on the Coast. This thread NEEDS to close at 9:00 sharp. But give me a list just for fun. You certainly know whose who better than most.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2008 1:22:22 AM PST

All great picks and yes, like you, my decades of choice were often dictated by year of passing. You can't put all the Chess artists, Elmore James, Jimmy Reed, etc. in the 50's at the height of their popularity when you only get 3 p/decade (done to avoid a laundry list naming everyone who ever held a guitar and said the word "blues").

I AM heavy on the Chicago cats, having interviewed most and played with many while going to college, writing for music publications, and putting together my master's thesis, "A Taped History of Chicago Blues", made for radio. Your picks provide a much broader range of styles, places, and time and the tremendous contributions of Lightnin' Hopkins, Johnny Winter, Paul Butterfield, Eric Clapton, etc. are essential to modern Blues.

Between both of our lists, whether choices were based on influence, impact or Best of the Best, the last of the selected artists arrived on the scene a quarter of a century ago (though SRV seems like yesterday). And much like the American Pie reference to "the day the music died" in rock (2/3/59 - Buddy Holly's death), I wonder if November 21st 2006 may mark "the day the music died" for Blues. With the passing of Mr. Robert Jr. Lockwood, "... the most prominent chapter in the Blues is closed. The last living artist from an era where the Blues was a way of life." - Blues.

Looking for inspiration I searched the Net for "the blues will never die" and found a few quotes:
~ "It's true, the blues will never die, but perhaps only in the sense that there will always be something packaged and sold as blues. We'll go on stretching our definition..." - Francis Davis - The History of the Blues. (not what I was hoping for)
~ "...the blues will never die. It's music that sticks to your ribs-like red beans and rice." - Koko Taylor
~ "Blues expresses, in words, day to day experiences. It adds emotionally to that, with the blues music progression -- you know it's blues. ... Poetry in song, is what it is, and people can relate to it. The blues will never die." - Cephas & Wiggins
~ And two songs I have on vinyl - "The Blues Will Never Die" (Otis Spann) and "I Know the Blues is Here to Stay" (Eddie Boyd).

T-Bone, keep spinning those discs!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2008 7:13:48 AM PST
M. J. Gawlik says:
I need directions more than most, but thanks for the vote of confidence.

So many worthy nominees, but yearly inductees should be kept to a minimum.
I said I was going to stay away simply because I didn't want to step on toes.
There are a few name that I don't think belong, but I'm sure I'm in the minority.
(No foolin'!) Canned heat never did anything for me, but I admit to listening to
very little of their music. "Goin' Up The Country" ruined it for me. The Yardbirds?
I love the band, but Blues H.O.F. material? Don't think so. The Rolling Stones
would be more appropriate, if you're letting English Invasion bands in. Listen to
"Little Red Rooster", "Mona", "Good Times, Bad Times", "Pain In My Heart", "Cry
To Me" and a host of others thru the years. And there's that pesky Joplin chick.
But where's Billy Boy Arnold or Big Bill Broonzy? Ginger Baker but not Sam Lay?

Listen to what is being recorded, sold and played as blues. Look at the names
that have been listed in the various forums. I'm afraid Francis Davis has things

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2008 8:21:44 AM PST
B-n-T ... it was indeed a very sad day when Robert Lockwood passed. He was truly a gem and now that Henry Townsend has also passed, I believe Honeyboy Edwards is the last living link to the time that Robert Johnson was alive (or at least widely known link, anyway).

You know, I just have to ask ... and you might not want to tell the public here your real identity (Blues-n-Trouble is fine with me) ... but I would be curious as to your own story (as I'm sure others would as well) ... and I certainly would understand if it wouldn't be practical or possible, but would there be any way of being able to hear your "A Taped History of Chicago Blues?" Man, that has to be a treasure trove of great information, anecdotes, stories and history. Obviously something that I would be thrilled to hear or read a transcription of. I'll even be so bold to ask if there would be any kind of possibility to air it on the KFMG community station that I DJ for? I know I'm putting you on the spot a little, but I just have to ask, that's all!

And it's not hard to reach me directly if you know where to look. You can check out if you would like. (I also administrate the KFMG page at

Thanks for your valued input here!


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2008 3:50:43 PM PST
The Alzheimer's line was not for you...You don't think Canned Heat belongs in the first 3 inductees of their decade? Next you'll tell me that Alexis Korner, Graham Bond, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Roy Buchanan, The Animals, Ten Years After, The Yardbirds, Savoy Brown, Siegal -Schwall, The Blues Project, Mick Taylor, Elvin Bishop, Dickie Betts and Shuggie Otis might not have been 1st ballot material. You'd probably just vote for those old guys. What were they called? I remember, bluesmen. Come on. We got to the rest of the rest at light speed. We need your Best of the Best so we can close the thread by 9:00 sharp.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2008 5:41:59 PM PST
Glad to make contact outside the public forum. Just use this name at Regarding the tapes, I'm trying to get together with a fellow out here who has a blues radio show every Saturday from Sacramento (DJ & harp player, Mick Martin of Mick Martin & the Blues Rockers and KXJZ). The tapes are reel-to-reel. I no longer have access to a reel-to-reel player and I need to see what kind of shape the tapes are in after no one playing them for almost 40 years. Presume the station will have one. I also want to check a great taped interview I did around 1969-70 with Little Richard. The great part was not my questions, but that you press the "on" button and Richard can go for a couple of incredibly informative, interesting and fact-filled hours. If the tapes are still good, I would like to have them heard around the country out of respect for the artists - everyone from Eddie Taylor, Jimmy Rogers, Lafayette Leake, Johnny Littlejohn, and The Aces, to Vivian & John (Vee-Jay) Bracken, Ralph Bass (Chess), Bob Koester (Delmark), Muddy and Wolf.
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Blues forum
Participants:  6
Total posts:  13
Initial post:  Feb 17, 2008
Latest post:  Feb 19, 2008

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