James Morrison AKA Jim Morrison: 12/8/1943
– As the head of the psychedelic and blues rock phenomenon The Doors, this singer-songwriter became of the most iconic frontmen in the entirety of rock history. With the combination of his vividly poetic lyrics, booming voice, wild and often unpredictable stage persona, rebellious nature, and undeniable sex appeal, Morrison created a legacy for himself that endures to this day. He is The Lizard King. [Photo from the public domain]
Gregory Allman AKA Gregg Allman: 12/8/1947
– As half of the band’s namesake and a founding member, this iconic musician was a driving force behind the Allman Brothers Band throughout its both endearing and rugged 45 years in action. The sounds of his gruff vocals and haunting organ were an irreplaceable component of the group’s legendary sound. Just the same, his talents as a lyricist were equally as important as he penned some of such Allman Brothers classics as “Midnight Rider”, “Melissa”, “It’s Not My Cross to Bear” and the powerful epic “Whipping Post”. In the early 70’s he also set about beginning an acclaimed solo career which he continues to this day, one that has been steeped in blues, R&B, rock, gospel, and the genre he helped to create, Southern rock. [Photo by Patricia O’Driscoll]
Amos Wells Blakemore Jr. AKA Junior Wells: 12/9/1934
– Legendary harpist who began his professional career in the blues as a member of Muddy Waters’ band in the early 50’s. In 1965 his classic debut album, Hoodoo Man Blues, launched a career that would last over three decades and would see frequent collaborations with guitar giant Buddy Guy. His best known song remains the blues staple “Messin’ with the Kid”.
Eddie Jones AKA “Guitar Slim”: 12/10/1926
– Trendsetting New Orleans blues musician and guitarist who is best known massively influential, genre-hopping classic, “The Things That I Used to Do”. In addition to hit timeless hit song, Slim is also remembered as a pioneer of guitar distortion and for being a captivating performer. His music and style would have a lasting influence on such artists as Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Jimi Hendrix, Earl King, John Mayer, and Dan Auerbach.
Meg White: 12/10/1974
– This Detroit native was the founding drummer and other half of the punk blues and alternative rock duo The White Stripes. With her delightfully primal and thundering drums she helped the Stripes become one of the biggest musical acts for nearly a decade. The group played a major role in the resurgence of garage rock at the turn of the 21st Century that continues to thrive to this day. [Photo by John Griffiths]
Willie Mae Thornton AKA “Big Mama” Thornton: 12/11/1926
– This singer and songwriter, who was also a self-taught harmonica player and drummer, was known for her intimidating size as well as her powerfully fierce voice. She first gained attention as the original artist to record “Hound Dog” in 1952, where it would top the R&B charts for seven weeks. She was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1984, and her song “Ball ‘n’ Chain”, which was famously covered by Janis Joplin, has been recognized for its influence to rock and roll.