October 12 – 18th – Birthdays
October 12 – 18th – Birthdays. This week’s birthdays include: Guitar Gabriel, Nappy Brown, Edna Hicks, James “Son” Thomas, Justin Hayward, Slammin Sammon, Victoria Spivey, John Mayer, Pino Palladino, Billy Cox, and Chuck Berry. There’s a lot to cover for the week of October 12 – 18th!
Robert Jordan AKA Guitar Gabriel – 10/12/1925
This Georgia-born musician began playing the guitar as a child as a means to make money, which later saw him travel the country as a part of a medicine show in which he crossed paths with the likes of Muddy Waters, T-Bone Walker, and Lightnin’ Hopkins. An American blues musician who combined his unique style of guitar playing with other various genres of blues and gospel. One of Gabriel’s trademarks was a white sheepskin hat that he wore during his performances. In the early 90’s, through folklorist Tim Duffy’s Music Maker Relief Foundation, he was able to record new music and tour the U.S. and Europe in his late life.
Napoleon Brown Goodson Culp AKA Nappy Brown – 10/12/1929
Acclaimed vocalist and songwriter who was a major player in the rhythm and blues scene in the 1950’s. With his powerful and highly distinguishable voice that drove such hits as “Don’t Be Angry” and “The Right Time”. He was a major influence on others in the genre, as well as blues and pop musicians. His booming voice and unique style also had a hand in the pioneering of soul music. The 1980’s saw Nappy Brown make a successful comeback after years out of the spotlight. This time as a full-fledged bluesman with his vocals as powerful as ever. His final album, 2007’s Long Time Coming, received universal acclaim, and brought Brown a number of nominations from the Blues Music Awards.
Edna Landreaux AKA Edna Hicks – 10/14/1895
Is an American blues singer and musician. She is best remembered for recordings such as “Down Hearted Blues”, ” Hard luck blues”, and “Poor me Blues” whilst under the Brunswick label in 1923. Born in New Orleans, she was blues singer and vaudeville performer who for a short period of time in the 1920’s recorded sides for as many as seven different record labels. She was the half-sister of Mary Miles, who was also a singer in the blues.
James “Son” Thomas – 10/14/1926
A recognized Delta blues musician from Mississippi. He did not become as widely known as some other blues musicians, but he was loved and cherished in his hometown and was one of the most popular musicians in Mississippi in the 60’s. On top of releases five albums in his music career, Thomas appeared in a few films that explored the Delta Blues scene. Besides being a musician, he was an avid sculptor. He specialized in skulls and other unusual artworks and some of his works are still on display in Mississippi.
Justin Hayward – 10/14/1946
Justin Hayward is an English guitarist and vocalist who is most known for heading the rock group the Moody Blues since 1966. Hayward started playing professionally since he was 15 and one of his first bands opened for The Hollies. Besides a brief hiatus, the Moody Blues have maintained a steady career for 54 years. In fact, Hayward and the Moody Blues were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year.
Marty Sammon AKA Slammin Sammon – 10/14/1977
A self-professed ambassador of Chicago Blues, this virtuoso pianist picked up and began to perform the instrument from a young age. He toured for a time with Phil Guy then Otis Rush for a number of years before joining with Buddy Guy, with whom he has been recording and touring with since 2004, in addition to pursuing his own musical career.
Victoria Spivey – 10/15/1925
A prolific, beautiful, and immensely talented blues vocalist born and based out of Texas. She enjoyed a fruitful and exciting forty-year career from 1926-60’s. Her vocal expertise allowed her to accompany many musicians including Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Lonnie Johnson, Bob Dylan, and others. Spivey plays a role in a ‘sound film’ titled Hallelujah. After a long and successful career, Spivey retires from the limelight in 1951 and played pipe organ in a church. She dies in 1976 at the age of 69.
John Mayer – 10/16/1977
John Mayer has universal crossover appeal that teeters into pop and blues. Mayer is one of the most popular guitarists of his generation. Mayer’s musical influences include Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and B.B. King. He performs at South by Southwest in 2001. Shortly after, he scores a record deal with Aware Records, records several albums, and afterwards wins 7 Grammy’s. The rest is history.
Pino Palladino: 10/17/1957
Speaking of John Mayer, let’s move on to his longtime bassist, Pino Palladino. Born in Wales, he learns to play the guitar at age 14, Later he over to the bass at age 17. Palladino is a prime example of a multipurpose session bassist. His musical style is on a myriad of musician’s albums like D’Angelo, David Knopfler, Elton John, Jeff Beck, The Who, and several albums with John Mayer. Palladino is an exemplary bassist, who plays in the pocket with just the right amount of flare.
Billy Cox: 10/18/1941
William Cox AKA Billy Cox is a well-known master of the bass and many musical styles. The bassist behind Jimi Hendrix and most of the bands he is associated with, like the iconic Jimi Hendrix Experience trio. After Hendrix’s untimely death, Cox records and performs with other many notable artists. This list includes Sam Cooke, John McLaughlin, Etta James, Little Richard, and many others.
Chuck Berry – 10/18/1926
Though no single figure can wholly be credited for the creation of rock & roll. Credible arguments can be for Chuck Berry. By combining elements from R&B, country, and blues music, he built a foundation for what became rock music. Many consider him a major forerunner of the genre. Some of Berry’s most celebrated hits include “Maybelline”, “Roll Over Beethoven”, “Johnny B. Goode” and “Rock and Roll Music.” These are his most influential songs that showcases the iconic guitar work and the lyrics that makes Berry a powerhouse of rock and roll.
Chuck Berry’s musical style influences many generations of musicians. A small number of artists that found essential inspiration from Berry’s music include Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones. Along with B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, AC/DC, Peter Tosh, Iron Maiden, Bruce Springsteen, Living Colour, and John Mayer. In all reality, all of rock owes him a major debt.
October 12 – 18th – Birthdays! Be sure to check back next week!
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