April 27 – May 3rd Birthdays!
April 27 – May 3rd Birthdays! This week’s blues birthdays features Ace Frehley, Willie Nelson, Otis Rush, Blind Gary Davis, Little Walter and Freddie Roulette! Check back next week for more birthdays!
Ace Frehley : 4/27/1951
An American musician and songwriter and the original lead guitarist and co-founding member of the rock band Kiss. During this time, he invents the persona of “The Spaceman and plays with the group from its inception in 1973 until his departure in 1982.
After leaving Kiss, Frehley embarks on a solo career, which he puts on hold when he rejoins Kiss in 1996 for a reunion tour. Frehley stays with Kiss until 2002. “Guitar World” Magazine ranks him as the 14th “Greatest Metal Guitarist of All Time.”
Willie Nelson: 4/29/1933
Universally acclaimed as a singer and songwriter. While playing every small-town bar and large venue he’s came across. Known for going against the grain, some critics call him a “country music outlaw.” Sure, it’s has hurt his career at times.
But, he’s doing something right because his music career is still going strong! He wrote for the song “Crazy” for Patsy Cline who makes it into a hit. Lastly, he starts “Farm Aid” in 1985, which is still going strong today! And, he’s the most recognizable artist in country music.
Otis Rush: 4/29/1934
Born in Mississippi and raised in “The Windy City” this guitarist, singer, and songwriter held a distinctive slow burning style that utilized lengthy bends and upside-down guitars, which becomes known as West Side Chicago Blues. With such classics as “I Can’t Quit You Baby”, “Double Trouble” and “All Your Love (I Miss Loving)”, he helped to put the blues of Chicago on the map. He’s a major influence to such artists as John Lee Hooker, John Mayall, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Peter Green, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble.
Blind Gary Davis: 4/30/1896
A potently skilled Piedmont blues guitarist and singer whose style shifts largely to gospel blues after he converts to Christianity and becomes an ordained minister. During this time, he emerges as one of the most popular musicians to arise from the folk revival in the 60’s. Some of his popular recordings are “You Got to Move”, “Twelve Gates to the City”, “The haunting” and “Death Don’t Have No Mercy”.
Little Walter: 5/1/1930
Highly regarded as “The King of all Post-War blues harp players.” This musical virtuoso likes to push the boundaries of the harmonica. Going forward, he receives the credit for much of the instrument’s modern vocabulary.
Furthermore, Little Walter makes a name for himself in Muddy Waters’ band before rising to prominence with his own career. Going forward, Little Walter influences the likes of Junior Wells, James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite, Paul Butterfield, and John Popper.
Freddie Roulette: 5/3/1939
Born just outside of Chicago, Freddie Roulette doesn’t have to travel far to find great blues music. He begins playing guitar as a teenager. After perfecting his guitar skills, he quickly shifts to playing the clubs and working with Earl Hooker.
Shortly after, he transitions into playing the lap steel guitar and becomes a force to be reckoned with. This lands himself a successful touring stint with harmonica great Charlie Musselwhite. With whom he recorded and performed with for years.
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