March 16 – March 22nd – Birthdays
March 16 – March 22nd – Birthdays – This week’s music highlighted birthdays are Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Marcia Ball, Jimmie Vaughan and Son House! Check back next week!
Sister Rosetta Tharpe: 3/20/1915
Influential singer, songwriter, and guitarist who is credited for being one of the first major gospel musicians to achieve a prosperous crossover into mainstream music. Her mixture of gospel, soul, blues, folk, and R&B came together to form her signature style that has been recognized as an early form of rock and roll. Her music had a profound influence on the likes of Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Aretha Franklin, and Elvis Presley.
Marcia Ball: 3/20/1949
Born in Texas and raised in Louisiana, this acclaimed singer-songwriter and pianist has received numerous awards for not only her vocal abilities, but for her masterful keyboard skills as well. She has been praised for blending blues styles from both Louisiana and Texas to create her own unique sound. When it comes to her instrument of choice, she has brought elements of boogie-woogie, swamp blues, and zydeco to her piano playing. She has and continues to work with legendary New Orleans soul singer Irma Thomas, who is her primary influence as a vocalist.
Jimmie Vaughan: 3/20/1951
Often overshadowed by his late, younger brother Stevie. This blues rock guitarist and singer helps put the gritty and electrified blues of Texas on the map. Beginning his career in the late 60s, in 1974, he co-founded The Fabulous Thunderbirds. With whom he would remain lead guitarist for until his departure in 1989.
The following year he records the album Family Style with his brother, which releases after the tragic death of younger sibling. In 1994, he begins a full-fledged solo career starting with the album Strange Pleasure and remains active to this day.
Son House: 3/21/1902
As a musician that not only lived and played with legends, but also influences them. Son House is quite possibly the most important blues-man to roam this earth. At the age of twenty-five, House leaves behind the life of a pastor for the life of a traveling musician. Later in the late 20’s he met and partnered with fellow legend Charley Patton.
His frighteningly intense gospel blues style and adept slide guitar skills were first recorded in 1930 by Paramount Records. Then again in the early 40’s by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress, after which he vanished. House is “rediscovered” in 1964, and after years of inactivity. Due to Alan Wilson (Canned Heat) teaching Son House how to play his own material once again.
The audiences of the blossoming blues and folk revival are ecstatic to have the chance to see the Son House. Let alone see him perform and the seasoned bluesman not only tours the U.S. and Europe as well. Actively touring and recording until ill health makes either impossible or retires once more in 1974.
Songs such as “Death Letter”, “John the Revelator”, and “Grinnin’ In Your Face” remain some of his most cherished. His music influences Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Lead Belly, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Gary Moore. Along with Rory Gallagher, Warren Haynes, and Derek Trucks.
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