Friday, 29 May 2015

2016 Rock and Rock Hall of Fame Nominee Predictions

Let's be honest in most music circles the Rock & Roll hall of Fame has become increasingly able to ridicule. However the Hall has always been destined to be ridiculed, it's concept of inducting only the best Rock musicians its very subjective and does not reflect on what 'Rock' is.

To some Rock is simply the output of musicians such as Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry from the mid 50s to the late 50s. To most though Rock encompasses the guitar based rock since 1955. However many will argue that Electronic music, Pop, Blues, Folk, Jazz, Hip-Hop and every genre in between counts as Rock as Rock has influenced every popular genre of today.

The Hall of Fame has ignored large vast genres since its inception, such as Punk, Disco, Progressive Rock, Hip-Hop, Alternative Rock, and so many others. Last year artists who changed music enormously such as The Smiths were not inducted in favour of genre-artists who are favoured by the Hall of Fame such as The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Joan Jett, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Bill Withers. This is not to say that any of those musicians don't belong in the hall, but they do not belong over artists like Deep Purple, Kraftwerk, Jethro Tull and several others.

Meanwhile deaths or infamous events of legends has also helped cause their inductions in past years, such as Lou Reed, Donna Summer, and several others.

So here is my prediction for who will gain a nomination for this years' Hall of Fame.


Mariah Carey 

She may be one of the most chart friendly commercial acts of all time, but that does not stop hjer from standing a chance at being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her accomplishments are undeniable, she has sold more than 200 million records, she was the best selling artist of the 90s and she has 18 number 1s in the USA, more than any other solo artist. 

However she is distinctly unlike anyone in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The only similar character is Madonna, who gained credit by writing her own songs, which Mariah doesn't. So really the question of her being inducted is unlikely, however one should not rule it out. 

If the Hall of Fame ever inducts her then they will be ridiculed for inducting such an artist over so many  others, but to not at least recognise her with a nomination is unlikely because her accomplishments speak louder than her music. 

Will she be inducted? Maybe
Should she be inducted? No 

Deep Purple

My logic behind Deep Purple getting a nomination is that they have slowly been inducting artists who have been the cause of popular outrage, such as Kiss & Rush. Deep Purple have one of the most essential discography's and are crucial listening for any Rock fan. 

But why now? Why area they worthy of being inducted now and not later. Well to put it simply they are possibly the hardest act to argue about not inducting. They aren't progressive like The Moody Blues, they aren't based on anything but music like Kiss, they aren't too complex like Rush, they are obvious, great and are the biggest blemish not the Hall, which it will want to fix. 

Deep Purple's influence, popularity, and commercial credit however have failed to get them in so far, so their induction is still debatable, only based on the ignorance of the Hall, despite the most famous guitar riff of all time in Smoke on the Water.

Will they be inducted? Yes
Should they be inducted? Yes


N.W.A

N.W.A have been nominated so many times now that it is laughable that they aren't yet in. They are one of the greatest and most obvious Hip-Hop acts of all time, and until Tupac and The Notorious BIG are able to be inducted they are the biggest snubs towards the genre. 

I can't see them not being inducted next year, they have classic hits, soundtracked lives of adults now entering their 40s, and were one of the few acts who maintained a sense of revolution during the ever so commercial late 80s. They're induction is not in doubt, however I doubt they will induct another Hip-Hop artist in the same year, one is enough for the Hall of Fame, and this means A Tribe Called Quest, eligible from this year, will not be inducted. 

Will they be inducted? Yes
Should they be inducted? Yes


Kraftwerk

It is arguable that their influence was greater than even The Beatles, but I'm not sure I believe that. However they have had a great influence over almost all aspects of chart music since their inception, and are still commercially active and popular to this day.

Their induction would also help diversify the hall, Kraftwerk are not stereotypical rock, they will be the first Krautrock band in the Hall, and will help make the Hall less of a UK/USA music circle jerk and would help open the gap for other European acts who aren't in the Hall, but severely deserve to be. 

Despite all this though they are not the sort of act who the Hall are likely to induct. If Chic manage to enter the Hall this year though, I would defiantly put money on Kraftwerk following them in 2017, despite their lack of musical similarity. 

Will they be inducted? No
Should they be inducted? Yes


The Smashing Pumpkins

Outside of perhaps Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Radiohead there are no acts who are designated to be in the hall as much as The Smashing Pumpkins, during the mid 90s they were one of the most essential Rock artists even after the suicide of Kurt Cobain and Pearl Jam losing their touch, Billy Corgan has maintain a popular image, which although controversial in some quarters has kept The Smashing Pumpkins at least slightly relevant.

My only issue with them begin inducted would be that they do not deserve to be a first year induct, a nomination is deserved, but beyond that I fail to see how they deserve to be in this year, perhaps they will be inducted due to their perceived links to the younger generations, but the band have not had a great influence and are not as successful as many predicted that would be. 

Will they be inducted? Yes
Should they be inducted? Maybe

Ben E King 

Ben E King was one of the most well loved and respected musicians of the early 1960s, he had solo hits such as Spanish Harlem and Stand By Me, and is already a member of the Hall of Fame as a member of the Drifters. But he doesn't belong there as a solo artist.

He will be nominated because of his sad death earlier this year, and while this is a tragically sad thing, I do not believe dying suddenly makes people worthy of an induction. If they didn't induct him while he was alive, how does dying suddenly make one relevant. It is one of the greatest flaws in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, How they induct artists after their death just like Lou Reed was last year. 

Ultimately though he doesn't belong in this year, maybe in the future when other artists are in but not now. 

Will he be inducted? Maybe
Should he be inducted? No 


Nine Inch Nails

They were nominated last year, so the odds are more in their favour than I would have predicted the year before. I'm not quite believing that they'll get in 2016, but they stand a fairly good chance at begin inducted. They were one of the most influential acts of the 90s and in Trent Reznor they have one of the most respected musicians of their generation.

Hall of Famers support for them will help them out. Johnny Cash's definitive cover of Hurt will help boost the Hall's opinion on them, and David Bowie's respect for Nine Inch Nails may also help them out. 

Will they be inducted? Maybe
Should they be inducted? Maybe


Joe Cocker

Joe Cocker was one of the most incredible vocalists of the 60s generation, were the Hall of Fame based on musicianship then he would be in, but it is not, it is instead about music. Joe Cocker has not had the same career as The Beatles, he has not influenced like The Stones and he did not pioneer like Deep Purple.

Joe Cocker does not belong in the Hall of Fame while others greater than he are not in it. I enjoy Joe Cocker but he does not belong in it while contemporaries like The Moody Blues aren't, his induction would be an insult to him, as he would only be inducted based on his death last year. 

Will he be inducted? No
Should he be inducted? No

The Smiths

The Smiths are perhaps the greatest British musical act since the Beatles. Yes that was a very controversial statement but it is also my opinion. They were possibly the greatest 80s group, and have influenced almost every Indie act since the 80s. While Indie music may not be necessarily popular in the Hall of Fame it is impossible for The Smiths to continually be snubbed, alongside The Cure they are the biggest snubs of the 80s period, and this continuation can't continue for much longer.

They were nominated last year, so it's looking up for the Manchurians, however this doesn't mean they will be nominated again. Johnny Marr's upcoming autobiography may help sway opinions towards them, and Morrissey's ever public statements may help keep the Smiths relevant, but ultimately their induction depends on their American success, which was not as great as it was in England, this has failed several other acts like The Jam and T.Rex, but hopeful it won't stop The Smiths.

Will they be inducted? Maybe
Should they be inducted? Yes

Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson is one of the most successful country musicians of all time, eh helped create the 'outlaw country' genre, and influenced multiple Rock acts, while being a commercial and public success. If the Hall was dubbed the Music Hall of Fame then Willie would have been in it years ago. 

However the hall is a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, while other country-based performers have got into the Hall of Fame, I don't believe now is the time for Willie to be inducted into the Hall. To do that would enable multiple great country musicians to be inducted, and it would further blur the lines of what is Rock and what is not. 

Despite all this though, I wouldn't complain if he is inducted as he is more than worthy. 

Will he be inducted? Maybe
Should he be inducted? Maybe



Blur

Blur are on a reunion tour they have a new album out they are at the prime time position for induction, it will crown them relevant in the eyes of rock. However they won't be inducted, they never held the same sort of fame in America as they did the UK and while Oasis will, no doubt, be inducted, I doubt Blur will, definitely not at this time anyway. 

They may be inducted in the late 10s nominations but to be honest they don't necessarily deserve to be inducted as a First Time inductee. They still are relevant though, which is there greatest hope of being inducted.

Will they be inducted? No
Should they be inducted? Maybe


Link Wray

One of the artists who the Hall seem to taunt with induction is Link Wray one of the classic Rock & Roll acts of the 50s, he himself is long dead, which may push the Hall against his induction, as who will turn up to accept the award? However excluding that I think there is a large chance that he will be inducted, due to the Hall's obsession with Rockabilly and the voters' interest in the original acts.

However I don't believe he deserves the induction, he does not have the discography to back it up. Rumble remains his only great single, he may have had other good ones, but none rival Rumble. If you induct him, then Dick Dale should defiantly be in, but I don't see that happening. To be honest my biggest gripe with inducting Link is that he will of entered it before The Johnny Burnette Trio, who deserve the nomination and induction far more than Link, they may have not been commercially successful at the time, but like Link their influence is vast, and The Johnny Burnette Trio have, subjectively,  far more influence than Link Wray.

Will he be inducted? Maybe
Should he be inducted? Maybe



Chic

Probably THE disco act. They deserve to be in it solely because of their pioneering nature over the genre. I personally am not a fan of Disco, but to induct Donna Summer and not Chic, well thats a pretty obvious failure by anyone account.

They've been nominated so many times reasonably that it's becoming a trope of their nomination list, I could see them being inducted. It would be positive for the Hall as it would show them as non-Rock Guitar centric, more diversified, and less 60s influenced. 

Will they be inducted? Maybe
Should they be inducted? Maybe

Janet Jackson

The Hall has been trying to induct more and more female artists in recent years, and one of the biggest selling and respectable artists of the 80s was Janet Jackson. She has her entrance into the Hall helped by brother Michael and the Jackson 5. So really she should be in for being an innovator of 80s pop, even if that isn't a good thing. 

However she has been a popular call out for the past decade or so, so why would they suddenly turn around and induct her now. That is my biggest doubt regarding her entrance, she isn't popular with the Rock and Roll hall of Fame demographic as well.

Will she be inducted? Maybe
Should she be inducted? Maybe


Sting

He's already in the Hall of Fame as a member of The Police, but he has had a commercially successful solo career. Enough to earn a nomination for last years ballot. This was heavily supported by Rock fans, and it would likely be a popular choice by fans who have a less diverse musical taste, and his induction would likely be supported by the Hall due to his status as a music legend. 

Touring with Paul Simon recently may have gave him this, although Paul Simon himself deserves induction over Sting.

Will he be inducted? Yes
Should he be inducted? No 



So to tally it up my predictions for induction is.

Yes: Deep Purple, N.W.A, The Smashing Pumpkins, Sting
Maybe: Mariah Carey, Ben E King, Nine Inch Nails, The Smiths, Willie Nelson, Link Wray, Chic, Janet Jackson.
No: Kraftwerk, Joe Cocker, Blur.



Artists who should be nominated but won't be: 


Sonic Youth: They'll probably have to wait for The Pixies to be inducted before they'll even stand a chance, no-wave music isn't exactly popular and their only chance is through artists who were influenced by them although Thurston Moore is a well liked 80s-Alt Icon so they could get a nomination

Roxy Music: They've probably lost their window of induction, They fitted neatly between Bowie and The Velvet Underground, yet they remain uninducted. I can still see them being inducted in the future, but not too soon. They require a younger voting body who embrace artists who aren't too huge, American and not too linked to the 60s. However Roxy Music does have Bryan Ferry and Brian Eno to help booster support for the band. So I still hope. 

Jethro Tull: They will follow a Prog group in the Hall but they won't be in it until after Yes. After that I have no doubt that they will be in it. 

New Order: They were one of the most important 80s acts. They're biggest issue is their non-alignment to stereotypical rock and their bigger British popularity. However they may still get in, but not for at least a few more years. Possibly after Joy Division or with them. 

Gram Parsons: He's one of the few people who you should be shocked aren't in the Hall, but at the same time it's not too uprising, but he was revolutionary and shocking. His induction should have happened by now, the only reason I'm not anticipating a nomination, is because why would they do that now?

Chicago: They had a great guitarist, were leaders of Soft Rock and played harder rock in their early days. They would appear shoe-ins for induction yet they aren't. I don't see them being inducted now because I see Deep Purple as currently occupying the "duh I should be in" position for this year. But next year they may enter due to that, or it may be Yes. 

Judas Priest: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame seems to be kind of ignorant towards Metal, so while a nomination wouldn't surprise me, an induction would. They stand a chance in the near future for induction, but beyond that I don't see it happening any time too soon.

The Cure: They should have been inducted the moment they became eligible, they have everything that inducted R.E.M in their favour, except they were too adventurous. They're talent for writing pop songs may end up getting them inducted in the future, but their Post-Punk work likely won't. I see The Cure getting inducted soon though, I just don't see them being nominated at the same time as The Smiths though. 

Dick Dale: I can see the Hall turning to Surf Rock when the obvious Rock acts have been inducted, but they don't want to help smaller Alt acts. Dick Dale belongs in the hall. I can see him becoming the prominent instrumental candidate if Link Wray is inducted. 

Yes: They'll be inducted before 2020 but not until after Deep Purple, then I see them being inducted, 2017 is a distinct possibly. Their pop side may push it in for them. They will help induct Prog groups like Jethro Tull, King Crimson, etc.

The Pixies: Influencing Nirvana may be enough to get them in. But they are still performing and recording so I do see them entering the Hall, however they may have to wait until Pearl Jam are inducted, or other grunge acts, before the Hall looks to Pre-Grunge acts like The Pixies, Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr.

T.Rex: T.Rex is probably the act who suffers most due to the American view of the Hall, I can't see them being inducted soon, I just can't not unless the public back them, or Marc Bolan somehow reenters the public view, via an well published documentary. 

Big Star: Big Star will be inducted soon enough, they are gaining more and more respect in the Rock world, they play music that the Hall loves, and they are greatly loved by almost everyone. They have the well loved icons Alex Chilton and Chris Bell in the band, so it will happen. However when is the question. 

The Moody Blues: They're like Yes, Chicago & Deep Purple. They belong in the Hall as much as The Rolling Stones. They'll get inducted, after Deep Purple at least, but they will be inducted after that, maybe after Yes and Chicago, but it will happen. They have the added 60s advantage, but the voting committee has always been very anti-Moody Blues, hence why I'm not expecting a nomination this time round. 

Depeche Mode: They would have appeared shoe-ins for induction a few years ago, but every year that they aren't inducted they seem less likely, with the 90s era now starting they are less likely to be inducted. But I still hope they shall be. If they are it shall likely happen in the next few years. It will either be them or New Order.

Captain Beefheart: I'm fairly sure he won't be inducted now, he once stood a chance in the 90s, or even after his death he could of been. But he wasn't and now unfortunately his only chance for induction is on public or media support or due to his Frank Zappa link. 

Soundgarden: They should already have been inducted. I figured they wouldn't be nominated this year in favour of Nine Inch Nails and The Smashing Pumpkins, but I do believe they shall be nominated in a year or so, they may even gain induction soon. They will be inducted, it's more a matter of when. 

Friday, 15 May 2015

The Blues Veterans Still Roaring - The Thill Is Gone: BB King (1925 - 2015)



To me BB King's death is not the sad part of this horrible moment, he lived a great life, nobody can argue that, he lived perhaps the greatest life he could of. He grew us as a farm hand in the deplorable conditions of America and died as a true great of music, able to be in the same books as Mozart and Duke Ellington. He was a true great, who changed the world.

His death is sad for me, because of the death of the blues, Buddy Guy has consistently talked of how it is his mission to save the blues from death. But it is possible for the Blues to die? Will it continue as a zombie form, like Dixieland Jazz does or many other forms of long-unpopular music?

BB King was the last pure great of the Blues, I don't believe anyone will argue against that. He outlived Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Son House, and so so many other great musicians. Perhaps he was the lucky one out of them, he got to live up to the age of 89, far above the life expectancy he had as an African-American in 1920s Mississippi. He beat the odds, and became great, and lived far enough into the 21st century to keep the Blues relevant over a century after the W.C Hardy wrote Memphis Blues.

So instead of going on about his death, like I'm sure most will, I'd like to instead talk about some of the remaining Blues heroes, who still stand alive, and relevant.

Henry Gray

Born January 19th 1935, Kenner, Louisiana, United States of America. 

When it comes to the most important blues Pianists, you will hear some names mentioned: Otis Spann (1930 - 1970), Memphis Slim (1915 - 1988), Pinetop Perkins (1913 - 2011), and Lafayette Leake (1919 - 1990). But a name hardly, and unfairly, mentioned is Henry Gray, perhaps the most influential pianist of the Chicago Blues sound. 

He recorded extensivly with chess Records, and is still playing today. He has played with almost every blues legend who existed in Chicago at the time, such as: Sonny Boy Williamson II, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Jimmy Reed. 

Henry even played with Elmore James on stage the day he died of a heart attack. He was nicknamed by Little Walter "Bird Breast" funnily enough. 


Cedell Davis 

Born 9th June 1927, Helena, Arkansas, United States of America.

Cedell is perhaps the last practitioner of the classic Delta Blues as perfected by Robert Johnson, Son House and others. Cedell played with Robert Nighthawk extensively in the 50s and 60s.

Cedell plays a highly unique method of using a knife to play slide guitar, which he invented after he suffered severe polio at the age of 10. 

He released his first solo album in 1994 Feel Like Doin' Something Wrong. 

Mose Allison 

Born 11th November 1927, Tippo, Mississippi, United States of America.

Mose Allsion maybe doesn't belong on this list, he is one of the greatest players of the Jazz Blues form, but honestly were he not on this list, then it would be an inaccurate list. 

Mose was the writers of the classic blues song Parchman Farm, which he adapted from Bukka White's 1940 song Parchman Farm Blues. This song has gone on to be covered by multiple Blues legends such as John Mayall, Johnny Winter, and others. He has been credited as an influence over many Blues Rock artists such as The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Tom Waits, among others. 

Jimmy Johnson 

Born 25th November 1928, Holly Springs, Mississippi, United States of America. 

Jimmy Johnson played with some of the most recognisable names in the Blues world, he played with Freddy King, Albert King, Magic Sam, Otis Rush. His brother Syl Johnson went on to become a soul musician, while another brother, Mack Thompson played bass for Magic Sam. 

In the 60s he played Rhythm and Blues with legends such as Otis Clay and Denise LeSalle. While he also recorded the original version of Don't Answer The Door, which would be a #2 R&B Billboard hit for B.B King. 


Little Sammy Davis 

Born 28th November 1928, Wiona, Mississippi, United States of America.

Poor old Little Sammy Davis played from the 40s until the 90s before he gained any personal fame, but boy did he live the live in-between. 

In the 40s and 50s he played in medicine shows with Ike Turner and Pinetop Perkins. He spent 9 years playing with Earl Hooker, with whom he played in the band of Hooker, Turner, Perkins, Little Sammy Davis and Albert King, until Earl Hooker and Albert King got into a fight. 

In Chicago Davis played with legends such as Muddy Waters, Little Walter and Jimmy Reed, and even fronted the Little Walters band, leading to people thinking he was Little Walter. 


Lavelle White 

Born 3rd July 1929, Amite City, Louisiana, United States of America.

White started her career singing in Texas and her career was aided by the recommendation of Johnny Copeland who helped get her a recording deal. 

White has played with legends such as Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, and many others in her long career. 


Matt Murphy 

Born 29th December 1929, Sunflower, Mississippi, United States of America. 

Despite perhaps most famous for appearing in the famous movie The Blues Brothers, Murphy has played with some of the most legendary figures in blues history. He played extensively with Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Ike Turner, Etta James, James Cotton, Chuck Berry, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and so many others.

Freddy King is claimed to have once admit that his classic song Hide Away was inspired by Murphy's performance in the American Folk Blues Festival Tour around Europe in 1963. 


Byther Smith 

Born 17th April 1933, Monticello, Mississippi, United States of America.

A cousin of J.B Lenoir Smith learned guitar from some of the greatest Blues guitarists such as Hubert Sumlin, Lenoir, and Robert Lockwood Jr. 

Smith only became a full time professional Blues musician in 1995, despite having played with Otis Rush in the 50s. 


Lazy Lester

Born 20th June 1933, Torras, Lousiana, United States of America. 

In Lousiana Lester played with legends like Lightnin' Hopkins, Slim Harpo and a young Buddy Guy, he started his career by playing with Lightnin' Slim in the 50s. 

He wrote songs which have been covered by The Kinks, Dave Edmunds and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. 


John Mayall

Born 29th November 1933, Macclesfield, United Kingdom. 

One of the main characters of the British Blues boom which helped introduce the Blues to the youth market. Mayall helped start the careers of many of the greatest British Invasion blues players such as Peter Green, Eric Clapton and Mick Taylor. 

Eddy Clearwater

Born 10th January 1935, Macon, Mississippi, United States of America

Clearwater is often described as one of the greatest Blues guitarists and songwriters. He moved to Chicago in 1950 and played with Otis Rusha and Magic Sam, and was heavily influenced by Chuck Berry. 

He was given the name Clearwater to contrast to Muddy Waters name, and has since been given the honorific nickname The Chief


Jody Williams 

Born 3rd February 1935, Mobile, Alabama, United States of America.

One of the most popular session guitarist of the 50s Chiago Blues scene, he was initially unknown outside of the music industry due to his name not appearing on records, but since 2000 he has gained his rightful acclaim and is now considered one of the greatest Blues guitarists ever.

He started his career playing with Bo Diddley on the streets, but later toured with Mephis Minnie, Elmore James, Otis Spann, and Charles Brown. He played on classic Howlin' Wolf singles such as Evil Is Going On and Forty Four alongside Hubert Sumlin. 

Otis Rush famously copied/was influenced by Williams' guitar playing which is apparent on several recordings of Rush. Williams became disillusioned with the recording business due to his lack of recognition and the fact that he gained no composition for the stealing of his Riff from the song Billy's Blues, by Mickey & Sylvia's Love Is Strange. Although he re-entered the music world in 2000. 


Sam Lay 

Born 20th March 1935, Birmingham, Alabama, United States of America.

Sam Lay is one of the greatest Blues drummers ever to play, he is arguably one of the greatest drummers in popular music, as he has played extensively in Folk Rock and Blues Rock as well. 

He has played with blues legends such as Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Little Walter, Muddy Waters, Eddie Taylor, Junior Wells, Magic Sam. He also played on Bob Dylan's definitive Highway 61 Revisited album. 

Perhaps most known to Rock fans though he with the new Rock n Roll hall of fame members The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, with who he is in the Rock n Roll hall of fame, alongside other Blues legends. 


Otis Rush 

Born 29th April 1935, Philadelphia, Mississippi, United States of America.

Perhaps the biggest blues musician still alive is Otis Rush, following the death of B.B King. Rush is not honestly in the same level as B.B King, but he is without a doubt the current greatest living bluesman. He may not have the name recognition among most people like Buddy Guy, but Rush is the greatest alive, that is undoubtable. 

As a guitarist Rush influenced many players such as Michael Bloomfield, Eric Clapton and Peter Green. He wrote the classic songs All Your Love, I Can't Quit You Baby, and Double Trouble. He recorded extensively with many of the greatest Blues sidemen.

His best album is Right Place, Wrong Time, which was released in 1976, despite being recorded in 1971. Unfortunately Rush suffered a stroke in 2004 and has not played since. 


James Cotton 

Born 1st June 1935, Tunica, Mississippi, United States of America. 

Cotton has been one on the most recognisable blues names since the 60s, he has played with almost any blues player you could imagine. He made his first recording at the famous Sun Studios with Sam Phillips, and played with Howlin' Wolf in the early 50s. 

In 1955 he moved to Chiacgo to join the Muddy Waters band, where he became Muddy Waters' bandleader. In 1965 he formed the James Cotton Blues Quartet with Blues pianist Otis Spann. 

He has also played with names such as B.B King, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Freddie King, Big Mama Thornton, and many others. 


Billy Boy Arnold

Born 16th September 1935, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America.

Taught the harmonica by Sonny Boy Williamson I shortly before his death, played on the classic I'm A Man single by Bo Diddley. Billy Boy Arnold appears everywhere in Chicago's blues history. 

He wrote the classic blues standard I Wish You Would, later covered by David Bowie and The Yardbirds. 

Buddy Guy

Born 30th July 1936, Lettsworth, Lousiana, United States of America.

Perhaps the most known Blues musician still alive. He is active in every aspect of the blues, and has been the most prominent statesman of the blues, alongside B.B King since the death of John Lee Hooker. He is arguably the greatest Blues musician left now, although personally I'm convinced that title falls to Otis Rush, however his inactivity means that Buddy Guy is the greatest active Blues musician. 

As a musician he is most known for his musical partnership with Junior Wells and his time playing with Muddy Waters, as well as being a incredibly successful and great solo musician, with his song Stone Crazy being one of the finest blues songs ever. 

As a guitarist he influenced the rock generation more than anyone else, influencing legends such as Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and many others. 



I'd like to thank anyone for reading. I throughly encourage anyone reading to go and listen to B.B King's finest record Live At The Regal, and I hope you all enjoyed reading, if you think i missed anyone comment below.

Thanks. 

I may also do a second piece like this, but instead focusing on young blues musicians. 

Honourable Mentions - Great blues players still going who I haven't mentioned.

Dave Bartholomew (1920 - -) -  Not a blues player, but defiantly a Rhythm and Blues player. Dave wrote many classic songs along with Fats Domino. He also produced classic songs by Lloyd Price, and Smiley Lewis. 

Faye Adams (1923 - -) - Discovered by Ruth Brown, She was a popular Rhythm and Blues performer of the 50s, before retiring in 1963. 

Chuck Berry (1926 - -) - Perhaps one of the greatest Blues guitarists of all time, Chuck helped create Rock and Roll by fusing the Blues and Rock together. 

Big Jay McNeely (1927 - -) - Arguably a Blues player, arguably a jazz players. Generally people dub him a Jazz Blues players. He was arguably the most influential Tenor Saxophone player in the Blues. 

Cornbread Harris (1927 - -) - A pianist who played on what is dubbed Minnesota's first Rock n Roll record Hi Yo Silver in 1955. 

Fats Domino (1928 - -) - One of the original players of Rock N Roll and a famous Rhythm and Blues player in the pre-Rock era. 

John Dee Hollman (1929 - -) - Perhaps not as big as the others on this list, Hollman is one of the last original practisers of the Piedmont Blues. 

Bob Stroger (1930 - -) - A prominent Blues bassist who played with musicians such as Otis Rush, Homesick James, Eddie King, Jimmy Rogers and others. 

Tommy Brown (1931 - -) - A Rhythm and Blues singer who is credited with the song Atlanta Boogie, which is one of the earliest references to Rock and Roll. 

Bobby Rush (1933 - -) -  A Blues player who played with Elmore James in the 40s, who has experienced a lot of modern success. 

Carol Fran (1933 - -) - A Blues singer who played with Don Covay, Guitar Slim and Lee Dorsey among others. 

Drink Small (1933 - -) - A Blues guitarist who was labeled as one of the finest Gospel guitarists of the 50s, whose titular nickname is the Blues Doctor

Garnett Mimms (1933 - -) - A early Soul singer who is best known for his hit Cry Baby from 1963. 

Lloyd Price (1933 - -) - A early Soul singer, famous for his 50s hits Lawdy Miss Sally, and Stagger Lee among others. 

Quincy Jones (1933 - -) - Probably best known in popular culture as Michael Jackson's producer. He is also one of the most successful Jazz players of all time, and has had a distinct influence of the Jazz-Blues sound. 

Filmore Slim (1934 - -) - Formely known as the "Pope Of Pimping", this former pimp has made some of the finest blues records of the 21st century. 

Huey 'Piano' Smith (1934 - -) - A prominent Rhythm and Blues pianist who was one of the great New Orleans Blues players. 

Clarence Carter (1936 - -) - A famous Soul/Blues singer who had many charting hits in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. 

Too young to be too old. - Great blues players who just didn't make the list (Ages vary from old to less old).

Eddie Shaw (1937 - -) - Tenor Saxophone player who played with musician such as Little Milton, Ike Turner, and Muddy Waters. He was probably the best tenor Saxophone player in the Chicago Blues alongside A.C Reed. He later led the Howlin Wolf's Wolf Gang which he joined in 1973, and took over after Howlin Wolf's death. 

Gene Chandler (1937 - -) - A soul singer who had multiple singles released by Chess Records. His most famous song is Duke Of Earl. 

Guitar Gable (1937 - -) - A major Swamp Blues musician. Who recorded the first version of This Should Go On Forever

Allen Toussaint (1938 - -) - Probably the biggest figure in the New Orleans Rhythm and Blues scene ever, and a composer of standard songs like Fortune Teller and others. 

Eddie C Campbell (1939 - -) - A prominent sideman in the Chicago Blues scene who played with legends like Howlin Wolf, Otis Rush, Muddy Waters, Magic Sam, Willie Dixon and others. 

Guitar Shorty (1939 - -) - A key player in the Electric Blues world, where he remains popular. He has played with musicians like Little Richard, Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles, T-Bone Walker and many others. 

Mavis Staples (1939 - -) - A famous member of her family Gospel band the Staple singers, and a prominent member of the civil rights movement. 

W.C Clark (1939 - -) - A key player in the Texas Blues, he has played with players like Big Joe Turner, Albert Collins, B.B King and many others. He was a large influence on Stevie Ray Vaughan, playing with him in Vaughan's early career. 

Dr John (1940 - -) - One of the most famous and eclectic musicians of the New Orleans Blues. He has played with multiple legends, and has maintained a successful solo career, while being thought of as one of the greatest Blues pianists. 

Little Freddy King (1940 - -) - A guitarist influenced by Freddie King, he has played with people like Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker, Champion Jack Dupree and Slim Harpo. 

Sonny Rhodes (1940 - -) - A guitarist who played with Freddie King and Albert Collins, and has had a semi-succesful solo career. 

And many others born post 1940.