Legends of the Blues T-Shirt Collection 2020
George "Buddy" Guy is an American blues guitarist and singer. He is an exponent of Chicago blues and has influenced guitarists including Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jeff Beck, Gary Clark Jr. and John Mayer. In the 1960s, Guy played with Muddy Waters as a house guitarist at Chess Records and began a musical partnership with the harmonica player Junior Wells. Guy was ranked 23rd in Rolling Stone magazine's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
Marion Walter Jacobs (May 1, 1930 – February 15, 1968), known as Little Walter, was an American blues musician, singer, and songwriter, whose revolutionary approach to the harmonica and impact on succeeding generations has earned him comparisons to such seminal artists as Django Reinhardt, Charlie Parker and Jimi Hendrix. His virtuosity and musical innovations fundamentally altered many listeners' expectations of what was possible on blues harmonica. He was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008, the first artist and to date, only one to be inducted specifically as a harmonica player.
Aaron Thibeaux "T-Bone" Walker (May 28, 1910 – March 16, 1975) was an American blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who was a pioneer and innovator of the jump blues and electric blues sound. In 2018 Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 37 on its list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
See also: T-Bone Walker: A Kind of Sweet Blues
Robert Leroy Johnson (May 8, 1911 – August 16, 1938) was an American blues singer, songwriter and musician. His landmark recordings in 1936 and 1937 display a combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that has influenced later generations of musicians. Johnson's poorly documented life and death have given rise to much legend. The one most closely associated with his life is that he sold his soul to the devil at a local crossroads to achieve musical success. He is now recognized as a master of the blues, particularly as a progenitor of the Delta blues style.
John Lee Hooker
John Lee Hooker (August 22, 1917 – June 21, 2001) was an American blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist. The son of a sharecropper, he rose to prominence performing an electric guitar-style adaptation of Delta blues. Hooker often incorporated other elements, including talking blues and early North Mississippi Hill country blues. He developed his own driving-rhythm boogie style, distinct from the 1930s–1940s piano-derived boogie-woogie.
Riley B. King (September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015), known professionally as B.B. King, was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer. King introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that influenced many later electric blues guitarists. King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and is one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname "The King of the Blues".
McKinley Morganfield (April 4, 1913 – April 30, 1983), known professionally as Muddy Waters, was an American blues singer-songwriter and musician who is often cited as the "father of modern Chicago blues", and an important figure on the post-war blues scene. A major influence on a variety of rock musicians, most notably the Rolling Stones who took their name from his song “Rollin’ Stone”. Waters was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Six of his albums earned Grammy Awards, and he received the Grammy for lifetime achievement in 1992.
Chester Arthur Burnett (June 10, 1910 – January 10, 1976), known as Howlin' Wolf, was a Chicago blues singer, guitarist, and harmonica player, originally from Mississippi. With a booming voice and imposing physical presence, he is one of the best-known Chicago blues artists. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 54 on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time".
Elmore James (January 27, 1918 – May 24, 1963) was an American blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and bandleader. He was known as "King of the Slide Guitar" and was noted for his use of loud amplification and his stirring voice. Elmore James was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 as an "Early Influence" inductee.
Big Mama Thornton
Willie Mae Thornton (December 11, 1926 – July 25, 1984), better known as Big Mama Thornton, was an American rhythm-and-blues singer and songwriter. She was the first to record Leiber and Stoller's "Hound Dog", in 1952, which became her biggest hit, staying seven weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B chart in 1953 and selling almost two million copies. Her work inspired imitation by Elvis Presley and Janis Joplin, who recorded popular cover versions of Thornton’s “Hound Dog” and “Ball and Chain,” respectively.
William James Dixon (July 1, 1915 – January 29, 1992) was an American blues musician, vocalist, songwriter, arranger and record producer. He was proficient in playing both the upright bass and the guitar, and sang with a distinctive voice, but he is perhaps best known as one of the most prolific songwriters of his time. Dixon is recognized as the most influential person in shaping the post–World War II sound of the Chicago blues. Dixon was an important link between the blues and rock and roll, working with Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley in the late 1950s. His songs have been adapted by numerous rock artists; Jeff Beck, Canned Heat, Cream, the Doors, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, and Steppenwolf all featured at least one of his songs on their debut albums. He received a Grammy Award and was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Mississippi John Hurt
John Smith Hurt (March 8, 1893 – November 2, 1966), better known as Mississippi John Hurt, was an American country blues singer and guitarist. Raised in Avalon, Mississippi, Hurt taught himself to play the guitar around the age of nine and began playing at dances and parties, singing to a melodious fingerpicked accompaniment. Material recorded by him has been re-released by many record labels. His songs have been recorded by Bob Dylan, Dave Van Ronk, Jerry Garcia, Beck, Doc Watson, John McCutcheon, Taj Mahal, Bruce Cockburn, David Johansen, Bill Morrissey, Gillian Welch, Josh Ritter, Chris Smither, Guthrie Thomas, Parsonsfield, and Rory Block.
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
"Ma" Rainey (born Gertrude Pridgett, April 26, 1886 – December 22, 1939) was one of the earliest African-American professional blues singers and one of the first generation of blues singers to record. She was billed as the "Mother of the Blues". Her first recording was made in 1923. In the next five years, she made over 100 recordings, including "Bo-Weevil Blues" (1923), "Moonshine Blues" (1923), "See See Rider Blues" (1924), "Black Bottom" (1927), and "Soon This Morning" (1927). Ma Rainey was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1983 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
Albert Luandrew (September 5, 1906 – March 17, 1995), known as Sunnyland Slim, was an American blues pianist who was born in the Mississippi Delta and moved to Chicago, helping to make that city a center of postwar blues. In addition to his solo music, Sunnyland Slim often worked as an accompanist or as backup for other bluesmen, and in the 1970s he founded his own label, Airways Records. He recorded more than 200 songs and 20 albums. He was a recipient of a 1988 National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, which is the United States government's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.
Koko Taylor (born Cora Anna Walton, September 28, 1928 – June 3, 2009) was an American singer whose style encompassed Chicago blues, electric blues, rhythm and blues and soul blues. Sometimes called "The Queen of the Blues", she was known for her rough, powerful vocals. She was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1997.
Eddie James "Son" House, Jr. (March 21, 1902 – October 19, 1988) was an American delta blues singer and guitarist, noted for his highly emotional style of singing and slide guitar playing. In 2017, his single, "Preachin' the Blues" was inducted in to the Blues Hall of Fame.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Sister Rosetta Tharpe (March 20, 1915 – October 9, 1973) was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and recording artist. She attained popularity in the 1930s and 1940s with her gospel recordings, characterized by a unique mixture of spiritual lyrics and rhythmic accompaniment that was a precursor of rock and roll. She was the first great recording star of gospel music and among the first gospel musicians to appeal to rhythm-and-blues and rock-and-roll audiences, later being referred to as "the original soul sister" and "the Godmother of rock and roll". She influenced early rock-and-roll musicians, including Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. On December 13, 2017, Tharpe was chosen for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an Early Influence.
Charley Patton (died April 28, 1934), also known as Charlie Patton, was an American Delta blues musician. Considered by many to be the "Father of the Delta Blues", he created an enduring body of American music and inspired most Delta blues musicians.
Lizzie Douglas (June 3, 1897 – August 6, 1973), known as Memphis Minnie, was a blues guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter whose recording career lasted for over three decades. She recorded around 200 songs, some of the best known being "Bumble Bee", "Nothing in Rambling", and "Me and My Chauffeur Blues". Memphis Minnie has been described as "the most popular female country blues singer of all time".
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