Blues Music Birthdays: January 7th – 13th
This week’s blues birthdays feature musicians Tampa Red, Elvis Presley, Robby Krieger, and Led Zeppelin’s lead guitarist and founder Jimmy Page!
Hudson Woodbridge AKA Tampa Red: 1/8/1904
Born in Georgia and raised in Florida, this Chicago blues guitarist, pianist and singer was renowned for his polished slide guitar style. He became the first African American musician to own a National steel-bodied resonator guitar, the loudest guitar before amplification. His single-string bottleneck guitar playing would influence the likes of Muddy Waters, Big Bill Broonzy, and Elmore James. The highly proficient fretwork that Tampa Red showcased would also set the stage for guitar soloing that would surface in both blues and rock & roll.
Robert “Robby” Krieger: 1/8/1946
American guitarist and songwriter best known for his role as the founding guitarist of the tremendously popular psychedelic rock band The Doors. His style of fingerpicking and his interest in the genres of blues, jazz, flamenco, and folk brought a truly unique flavor to the band and helped to elevate it above its peers. He also contributed lyrically to The Doors and was largely responsible for such compositions as “Light My Fire” and “Lover Me Two Times”. After The Doors disbanded, Krieger participated in a number of other bands and began a solo career in the late 70’s. In 2002 he joined with his former bandmate Ray Manzarek to form Manzarek-Krieger (originally titled The Doors of the 21st Century), which would perform until the passing of Manzarek in 2013.
Elvis Presley AKA The King of Rock and Roll: 1/8/1935
Or simply known as “The King”, Elvis may be the single most important figure in American 20th century popular music. As a pioneer of rockabilly, a blend of blues, country, R&B, soul, and pop, he played a major part in popularizing rock & roll on an international level. At the forefront of the music scene of that time, Elvis became a cultural phenomenon and icon, one that is still loved the world over.
James “Jimmy” Page: 1/9/1944
English musician who was the architect and leader of one of the most successful and influential groups in the history of rock & roll. After the collapse of The Yardbirds, another band of great importance, Page recruited Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham to form Led Zeppelin. That band, with Page acting as lead guitarist, co-lyricist, and producer, rewrote the book on hard rock. Zeppelin’s iconic sound also drew heavily from folk, psychedelic music, and, of course, a whole lotta blues. Page has been recognized as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time. Brian May, Johnny Ramone, Steve Vai, Eddie Van Hallen, Angus Young, Kirk Hammet, Dave Mustaine, Warren Haynes, Mike McCready, Jerry Cantrell, and every generation that came after him have all found inspiration in the work of Jimmy Page.
Keeping the Blues Alive
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