This week’s blues birthdays feature musicians Fats Domino, Brian Jones, Roger Daltrey and one of the best blues-rock guitarists, Rory Gallagher!
Fats Domino: February 26, 1928
Antoine Domino Jr. was a generally unsung hero and pioneer of Rock and Roll music. Domino was born in New Orleans where he began playing piano at bars at the age of fourteen. Antoine got his nickname from the celebrated jazz pianist Fats Waller because of his similar style. Although he was very shy and unfortunately therefore overlooked in the genre, Domino, over his long career, sold more than 65 million records. Because of his contributions to music, Fats was one of the first musicians inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.He was active in the music scene up until the time he passed away which was in October of 2017. He died at the age of 89, peacefully in his home.
Brian Jones: February 28, 1942
The least known original member of the Rolling Stones with a tragic life story. Jones had an affinity for music at an early age, playing jazz and R&B, but he really had a passion for blues music. He began buy exclusively playing slide guitar for a band. After a few bands went stale, Jones put an ad up for a band and thus met best friends Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Together they became the Rollin’ Stones (they would find the ‘g’ later). Jones and Richards had a very cool two-man guitar technique in the band, trading off rhythm and lead responsibilities. Jones would also play many other instruments like mandolin, sitar, percussion instruments, and others.Due to his heavy substance abuse, the band had no choice but to kick Jones out of the band. He was found dead in the bottom of a swimming pool in 1969 at the age of 27. As Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman explains “”He formed the band. He chose the members. He named the band. He chose the music we played. He got us gigs. … he was very influential, very important, and then slowly lost it – highly intelligent – and just kind of wasted it and blew it all away.”
Roger Daltrey: March 1, 1944
The fearless, handsome leader of the incredible British blues-rock band The Who. Daltrey’s career is still going strong and spans almost 50 years! He is listed on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and his known as one of the “most charismatic lead singers of all time.” At 73 years old, Daltrey still maintains a strong solo career and remains as a powerhouse vocalist
Rory Gallagher: March 2, 1948
Known for his no-holds-barred, marathon long live shows. Gallagher was fascinated by the music genre, Skiffle. This style was a mashup of blues, jazz, and Americana music played on makeshift instruments. He loved the improvised nature of the style and honored their freedom of creativity. Once he was in school, he was exposed to many pivotal musicians who shaped his understanding of music and the guitar. No artist had a greater impact on him than the pinnacle of bluesmen, Muddy Waters. Because of Waters and other acoustic-playing musicians, Gallagher started tackling the acoustic side of things and explored other instruments like sax, mandolin, banjo, and others. Over the next few years, Rory would experience different bands and even serve as an apprentice in various showbands. All of this served him well, but his real passion laid with the blues. Therefore, in the early 60’s, he founded the blues-rock trio, Taste. Gallagher went on to host a generous solo career for about twenty years until he passed away in 1995 due to liver transplant complications. He is still considered an Irish treasure and one of the best blues-rock guitarists in history.
Keeping the Blues Alive
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