Looking back, to the past century, the music industry has seen some of the best works ever to be contributed by various artists, who are now, sadly to say, legends. The individual artists have contributed something different to their respective genres, and these contributions have had a profound effect on the modern music culture over the years. From legends, such as Chuck D, whose notable works were in hip hop, Brandi, who contributed something special to the R&B genre, to other legends, like St Germain, who also made contributions to hip hop; it is hard to underestimate the works of these fallen artists and their effect on today’s different music genres. However, if we were to talk about one true legend, absolutely the best bluesman ever, it would be John Lee Hooker.
John Lee Hooker: Birth and earlier life
After his rise to superstardom in the blues genre, John Lee Hooker left a legacy that many still remember till now, and probably, even for a good time to come. Before then, this legend led a normal life after being born on 22nd August, 1917, near Clarksdale, Mississippi. At an early age, this music legend was introduced to music by his step-father, William Moore, who was a blues musician himself, and was un-reluctant to teach his step-son how to play the guitar.
Later on in the 40s, Lee Hooker had settled in Detroit, where he was juggling a life between being a janitor and a singer who loved to entertain his circle with music in house parties. Needless to say, this caught the ear and the heart of many people, including a local record store owner, Elmer Barbee, who pulled some strings for Lee and linked him up with Bernard Besman, a known producer, record distributor, as well as the owner of Sensation Records, at the time. Unmistakably, this is what led to the titan’s huge success later on in his career.
Career and success
Being in league with Besman, propelled Lee to record a couple of songs, all the while using his, now, incredible and unique skills on the electric guitar; something he highly credited to his step-father on. These tracks found their way to Modern Records, and needless to say, John Lee Hooker’s impeccable talent was in high demand; and after releasing a couple of other hit tracks, he went on to sign a new label (Vee-Jay Records), which saw him release
100 tracks on the imprint.
Afterwards, his career path took on a new path when a few Bohemian artists stood behind him and led him down a new direction. This is what led him back to his roots where he found himself performing at festivals and colleges, where his demand was ever high. It is during these performances that Hooker found himself in league with popular bands who ushered the young star to heights of superstardom.
By the time the 70s came around, immediately after relocating to California, Lee was doing all sorts of stuff, and his appearance in the Blues Brothers movie catapulted his career once more to the heights he’d never reached before. The following years, all the way up to the 90s, Hooker had renewed his talent, and in that same decade, he received countless awards for his unique talent in the blues, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Even now, the “King of the Boogie”, as he is called, still lives on in the hearts of many, and he will ever be hailed as the best bluesman ever.