December 7 – 13th Birthdays. This week includes Tom Waits, Gregg Allman, Junior Wells, Guitar Slim, Meg White, Big Mama Thornton, Dicky Betts. And Lucky Peterson!
Tom Waits – 12/7/1949
Thomas Waits is born in Pomona, CA on December 7, 1949. His uncle’s raspy voice inspires his signature growling whiskey-soaked vocal style. Waits is inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. Despite his lack of radio airplay, he gains a cult following due to evocative lyrics and writing style.
To this day he’s still tours and performs. Joe Bonamassa, The Eagles, Norah Jones, Rod Stewart, and Johnny Cash have recorded his songs. As a songwriter, Waits receives admiration for his lyrical storytelling. Tom Waits influences includes Bob Dylan, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg.
Gregg Allman – 12/8/1947
Gregory Allman is born on December 8th, 1947, in Nashville, Tennessee. Gregg is a southern rock pioneer and co-founder of the Allman Brothers Band. The band forms in Jacksonville in 1969. Members includes Duane Allman, Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks, and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson.
Gregg’s emotive and weathered voice coupled with his soulful Hammond B-3 organ help to create The Allman Brothers sound. This sound includes country rock, jazz, and old-time blues that puts them at the forefront of the jam scene. Gregg is also a talented songwriter, penning several of the band’s songs including “Midnight Rider” and the epic “Whipping Post”.
Junior Wells – 12/9/1934
Chicago blues singer and harmonica player Junior Wells is a legendary musician. And he begins his professional in blues as a member of Muddy Waters’ band in the early 50’s. In 1965, his classic debut album, Hoodoo Man Blues, launches a career that lasts over three decades. Along with frequent collaborations with guitar giant Buddy Guy.”Messin’ with the Kid” is his best-known song and remains a blues staple.
Eddie “Guitar Slim” Jones – 12/10/1926
Trendsetting New Orleans Blues musician and guitarist known for the influential classic “The Things That I Used to Do”. Slim brought new levels of energy and intensity to electric guitar playing with his raw, incendiary approach in the 1950s. Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Jimi Hendrix, Earl King, John Mayer, and Dan Auerbach list Slim as a major influence.
Meg White – 12/10/74
This Detroit native is the drummer and a founding member of the alternative rock duo “The White Stripes”. With her on the drums, she helps the Stripes become one of the biggest musical acts for nearly a decade. The group plays a major role in the resurgence of garage rock at the turn of the 21st century. Which continues to thrive to this day.
Big Mama Thornton – 12/11/1926
This singer and songwriter is a self-taught harmonica player and drummer. Along with her intimidating size and powerful fierce voice she gains attention as the original artist to record “Hound Dog”. It tops the R&B charts for seven weeks. Janis Joplin covers “Ball ‘n’ Chain” which gets Thornton recognition for her influence on rock and roll. In 1984, she’s an inductee into the Blues Hall of Fame.
Dicky Betts – 12/12/1943
Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Forrest Richard Betts was born in West Palm Beach, Fl. As a founding member of “The Allman Brothers Band” Bett’s is one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Betts writes two of “The Allman Brothers” biggest hits, “Ramblin’ Man” and “Jessica.” Which he writes for his daughter. After a fallout with The Allman Brothers in 2000, Betts reforms the Dickey Betts & Great Southern band and releases 11 solo albums.
Lucky Peterson – 12/13/1964
American Blues legend, the multi-instrumentalist Lucky Peterson, is one of the most riveting performers of the modern blues era. A searing lead guitarist, a powerful organist, and a first-rate vocalist. Lucky’s musicianship effortlessly translates gospel, rock, and jazz into a 21st century blues.
November 30 – December 6th -Birthdays! To learn more or donate to Keeping The Blues Alive, visit our website at https://keepingthebluesalive.org/