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The History Behind "from the cradle"

Eric Clapton's 1994 Album Cover: "from the cradle"

This is a biography of the artists who wrote/performed the songs of this album by Eric Clapton. The recording is Eric's tribute to his Blues heroes and this document is an attempt at revealing them.

1. Blues Before Sunrise

Leroy Carr

Recorded by Leroy Carr in St. Louis Missouri, February 21, 1934, for the Vocalion label.

Also recorded by Elmore James in New Orleans LA, August 1955, for the Modern/Flair label.

Leroy Carr (1905 - 1935)

Leroy Carr is born in Nashville, Tennessee, 27 March 1905.

He moves with his family to Indianapolis in 1912, the city in which he will grow up. Leroy spends time at the Pot Roast Club in 1917, watching and listening to pianist Ollie Akins. He reproduces Akins music on his sister Eva's piano. Having turned professional in 1922, Leroy accompanies singer Jack Wiley at the Gold Star Dance Hall, a partnership that lasts three years.


Under Prohibition laws, he is sent to prison in 1925 for bootlegging alcohol, a year later he can be found singing and playing in the Indiana Avenue Clubs. Representatives of the Vocalion record label come to Indianapolis in 1928 and the team of Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell makes its record debut. A year later after the success of 'How Long How Long Blues', the duo's first recording and a major hit, Leroy and Scrapper make more records.

More Carr and Blackwell recordings for Vocalion in Chicago in 1930 and in March 1932 they make eight recordings for the same label but with the Depression hitting record sales hard they will not make any records for the next two years.

In February 1934 they are back in the recording studio, sometimes joined by Josh White. Their recordings show that they are now at the peak of their powers but Leroy's drinking problems are becoming more and more serious.

The Carr-Blackwell duo record for the Bluebird label in February 1935, but after a serious argument between the two, Leroy is recorded solo. His final recording is 'Six Cold Feet in the Ground'. Two months later at a party, on the 29 April 1935, Leroy Carr, aged 30, dies of cirrhosis of the liver, as a result of alcoholism.

2. Third Degree

Eddie Boyd / Willie Dixon

Recorded by Eddie Boyd in Chicago Ilinois, May 1953, for the Chess label.

Eddie Boyd (1914 - 1994)

Edward Riley Boyd is born on Frank Moore's Plantation, near Clarksdale, Mississippi, on 25 November 1914, although a birth certificate later put the date at 13 November.

In 1941 by now an accomplished pianist, Eddie travels to Chicago in the hope of finding some new musical opportunities. He also expects to discover a less racist atmosphere than there is in the South. After some years working alongside Sonny Boy Williamson II on stage, Eddie joins him for a recording session in 1945, at which 'Elevator Woman' and Sonny Boy's Jump' are cut.

Lester Melrose, who had signed Eddie to Victor, arranges for him to play piano at a session with Big Maceo in 1947. Ace pianist Maceo had suffered paralysis to his right hand side.

Having been billed by Melrose as 'Little Eddie Boyd', he attends the last of his five recording sessions for Victor in 1949.

He records for the JOB label and then for Chess in 1951. Leonard Chess tells him he is talentless and that the material will be used to better advantage by Eddie's cousin Muddy Waters.

Eddie achieves great success in 1952, with 'Five Long Years' and '24 Hours' after recording and releasing them using his own money, the following year 'Third Degree' becomes his third sizeable hit within a twelve month span.

In 1957 a car crash in Illinois results in Eddie being laid up injured for three months at a time when his popularity is in decline.

After having been part of the American Folk Blues Festival in 1965, Eddie decides to settle in Europe.

He records 7936 South Rhodes, backed by Fleetwood Mac in 1968.

After having lived in France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland and Denmark, Eddie marries a Finnish national in 1970 and settles in her native land.

He undergoes heart surgery for replacement of a defective valve in 1980.

He receives a warm response at the 1986 Chicago Blues Festival.

He releases a cassette of religious music in 1993 and an LP entitled "Praise To Helsinki", on Love Records 1970, in 1996.

Eddie Boyd dies in Meilahti Hospital, Helsinki, on 13 July 1994.

3. Reconsider Baby

Lowell Fulson

Recorded by Lowell Fulson Dallas Texas, Sept. 27 1954, for the Chess label.

Lowell Fulson (1921 - 1999)

Lowell Fulson is born on 31 March 1921 on a Choctaw Indian reservation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, his grandfather was a Choctaw.

He played gospel and country music before turning to blues. He joins Dan Wright's stringband in 1938, the following year, he replaced Chester Burnett (later known as Howlin' Wolf in the band led by country-blues singer Texas Alexander, who was based in Gainsville, Texas, an arrangement that will last for two years.

Lowell joins the US Navy in 1943. On the island of Guam he assembles his first band, and he moves to the West Coast in 1945.

He meets Bob Geddins in 1946, who quickly signs him up to record for his Big Town and Down Town label.

'Trouble Blues' released in 1947, is the first of Lowell's recordings to feature him playing electric guitar. He had his first R&B hit, 'Three O'Clock Blues', on the Swingtime label in 1948, then in 1949, he enlists the valuable help of pianist and songwriter Lloyd Glenn.

In 1950, Lowell has his first hit with 'Everyday I Have the Blues'. Later inthe same year he has his only Number 1 R&B hit with 'Blues Shadows' and in 1951 he tours extensively with a band that includes Ray Charles.

In 1954 Lowell joins Chess label. He record's 'Tollin' Bells' and 'Took a Long Time' in 1957, with Eddie Chamblee on saxophone and Willie Dixon on bass.

Lowell leaves Chess in 1964 to join the Bihari Brother's Kent label and in 1966 'Tramp' is a Pop and R&B hit reaching Number 5.

He records In a Heavy Bag in 1970, one of his best 'psychedelic blues' albums, 'Lovemaker', released in 1978, finds Lowell back in form after some quiet years.

In 1988 his album 'It's a Good Day' is a success.

He continued touring and recording well into the 1990's, with albums for the European Record label and, most recently the Rounder and Bullseye Blues labels.

Hold On is released in 1992, features his old friend pianist Jimmy McCracklin. He won five W.C. Handy blues awards in 1993 and his 1995 album, Them Update Blues (Bullseye Blues), was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues album.

Lowell Fulson, a major figure in West Coast blues, died 6 March 1999 in Long Beach, California from complications from kidney disease, diabetes and congestive heart failure.

4. Hoochie Coochie Man

Willie Dixon

Recorded by Muddy Waters in Chicago Ilinois, January 7 1954, for the Chess label.

Willie Dixon (1915 - 1992) Willie Dixon is born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, on 1 July 1915.

Having discovered a talent for boxing, Willie wins the heavyweight division of the Illinois Golden Gloves competition in 1937.

In 1940, after several disputes with his boxing managers, Willie turns his attention to music. The group he has formed with singer/guitarist Leonard 'Baby Doo' Caston, the Five Breezes, records eight numbers for the Bluebird record label.

Shortly after the USA's entry into World War II in 1941, Willie is arrested for ignoring his enlistment papers. Willie is spared enlistment after being classified as unfit for military service. In 1942 he forms a new group, the Four Jumps of Jive.

Now 1945, Willie is the founder member of the Big Three Trio, again with Baby Doo Caston and two years later the Trio obtain a recording contract with Columbia Records. On the road, they are a huge success on a circuit that takes in the Mid-West and the northern states.

The Big Three Trio breaks up in 1952 and Willie takes a job at Chess as a writer and arranger but also as an odd-job man.

In January 1954, Muddy Waters takes one of Willie's songs and creates a spectacular blues recording '(I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man'.

Little Walter has a Number 1 R&B hit with Willie's composition 'My Babe' in 1955, the following year dissatisfied with conditions at Chess, Willie leaves for El Toscano's Cobra and Artistic label.

He records his first LP in 1959, Willie's Blues, for the Bluesville Record label and in 1960 he provides Howlin' Wolf with the songs 'Wang Dang Doodle', Back Door Man', 'Spoonful' and 'The Red Rooster'.

Willie tours Europe in 1962 as part of the American Folk Blues Festival. He will also act as agent for the festival throughout the 1960's.

The Rolling Stones have a British Number 1 hit in 1964, with Willie's composition 'Little Red Rooster' the first time a blues record has topped the pop charts.

In 1982 Willie sets up the Blues Heaven Foundation to aid young musicians.

Willie receives compensation from Led Zeppelin in 1987 over the similarity between their 'Whole Lotta Love' and his 'You Need Love'.

Willie Dixon dies of a heart condition on 29 January 1992.

5. Five Long Years

Eddie Boyd

Recorded by Eddie Boyd in Chicago Ilinois, June 19 1952, for the JOB label

6. I'm Tore Down

Sonny Thompson

Recorded by Freddy King in Cincinnati Ohio, January 18 1962, for the King/Federal label.

Sonny Thompson [1923-1989] Born August 22nd. 1923 in Centreville, Mississippi, died on August 11th. 1989 in Chicago.

Bandleader and pianist Sonny Thompson spent most of his life based in Chicago, but he served as the house pianist for many of the Blues and R&B sessions held by the King Label based in Cincinnati. He's heard on sides under his own name and on sides by Tab Smith, Smokey Smothers, Freddy King, Mabel Scott, Wynonie Harris, Lucky Millinder, Brother John Sellers, Sarah McLawler, Bullmoose Jackson, Lula Reed, Jr.Denby, Little Williejohn, Hamk Ballard, Red Prysock, The Royals, Syl Johnson, Danny Overbea, Jesse Anderson, and Gladys Palmer.

7. How Long Blues

Leroy Carr

Recorded by Leroy Carr in Indianapolis Indiana, June 19, 1928, for the Vocalion label

8. Goin' Away Baby

Jimmyrogers head.jpg
James Lane (aka Jimmy Rogers)

Recorded by Jimmy Rogers in Chicago Ilinois, October 23, 1950, for the Chess label

James Lane (1924 - 1997)

James A. Lane is born in Ruleville, Mississippi, on 3 June 1924. He will later take the surname of his stepfather of Rogers.

He taught himself how to play harmonica and guitar by listening to the records of popular artists such as Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Minnie and to the radio performances of Sonny Boy Williamson and Joe Willie out of KFFA in Helena, Arkansas.

In his late teens Jimmy moved to Helena and then Memphis, where he played with Robert Nighthawk and Robert Junior Lockwood. He then moved to St. Louis with Sunnyland Slim before settling in Chicago in 1945.

In 1946, through a friend in the factory where he is working he is introduced to McKinley Morganfield later to become known as Muddy Waters.

He cuts a side for Ora Nelle in 1948 but it is not issued and a year after Jimmy plays on some Muddy Waters recordings for the first time.

Jimmy's debut single for the Chess Record label, 'That's All Right' / 'Ludella', is released in 1950, he goes on to chart 13 tunes on the R&B charts. This track record puts him in the top 10 all time best sellers in the blues filed. Some of his recognizable hits that have become the staple of blues bands around the world apart from those mentioned earlier include 'Chicago Bound', Sloppy Drunk' and 'The Last Time'.

He leaves the Muddy Waters band in 1955 and a year later cuts what will become his best known single, 'Walking by Myself'.

Jimmy has long been considered one of the most important and influential figures on the American blues scene. He is considered to have co-founded and developed the Chicago blues sound with his band mate Muddy Waters - together they pioneered the sound that became known as "Chicago Blues" between 1947 and 1954.

In the late 1950's Jimmy worked with Howlin' Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson and fronted his own band on the Chicago club circuit.

After some difficulty getting gigs, he decides to quit music in 1961.

In 1969 he returns to the Chicago music scene.

Jimmy's album Gold-Tailed Bird is released in 1973 to good reviews. Jimmy's career nearly ground to a halt in the mid-70's when his classic recordings went out of print and were unavailable to a new generation of record buyers. Thanks to numerous books and publications calling attention to his career caused the re-issuing of Jimmy's Chess products on a the major MCA Record label, a Grammy nomination and numerous W.C. Handy Awards, Jimmy's career in now bigger than ever.

He is re-united with Muddy Waters in 1978 for the latter's fine album I'm Ready. In Bremen, Germany in 1991, he records the live album Jimmy Rogers with Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters.

Jimmy has been a major influence on numerous rock superstars. Eric Clapton called him, "one of my all-time great guitar heroes, one of my earliest influences". Keith Richards said, "I recognize myself in there between Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters and Jimmy Rogers". Mick Jagger offered, "The first time I heard Jimmy was when I was buying my first blues records and listening to Muddy Waters and eventually I found out that Jimmy was the guitarist on these records that I loved". At the behest of Clapton and Jagger, Jimmy was flown to London in June of 1992 for a series of blues tribute shows. One performance had Jimmy with the Eric Clapton Band at the Wembly Soccer Stadium in front of 100,000 people, and the shows with the Rolling Stones took place at the world famous Hammersmith Odeon. Clips of both shows are seen throughout the year on MTV and were a feature item in Rolling Stone magazine.

During the summer of 1993 Jimmy was a headliner in the famous Muddy Waters Tribute show which played to an audience of over 7,500 people on many dates. The Jimmy Rogers band appears on several nationally syndicated television and radio programs including NBC Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and Dan Ackroyd's House of Blues Show.

Bluebird, an album that Jimmy considers his best collection of work since his 1950's recordings is released in 1994.

Still a popular live performer at the age of 71, in 1995, Jimmy is booked to tour Europe.

Is is decided to make some CD's to provide for Jimmy's later years and he forms the Jimmy Rogers All Stars which include Eric Clapton, Jeff Healey, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Taj Mahal, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Stephen Stills and Lowell Fulson and Jonnie Johnson on Piano, but they only have enough for one CD before Jimmy dies on 19 December 1997, at the Holy Cross Hospital in Chicago from cancer.

9. Blues Leave Me Alone

James Lane (aka Jimmy Rogers)[1]

Recorded by Jimmy Rogers in Chicago Ilinois, January 7 1954, for the Chess label.

10. Sinner's Prayer

Lloyd Glenn / Lowell Fulson

Recorded by Ray Charles in New York City New York, May 17 1953, for the Atlantic label.

Lloyd Glenn - Born 21 November 1909, San Antonio, Texas - Died 23 May 1985, Los Angeles, California

A talented pianist and musical arranger, like his friend and neighbour Maxwell Davis, Lloyd Glenn was less renowned for his own fine recordings as for his peerless work on those by other musicians; particularly the Midas touch he contributed to the production and accompaniment of blues guitarists like T-Bone Walker, Lowell Fulson, Gene Phillips, Gatemouth Brown and B B King.

Born in San Antonio, Texas, on 21st November 1909, Lloyd Glenn grew up listening to close relatives and family friends playing ragtime, blues and boogie woogie on the family piano. By his early teens he had absorbed a lot of music and playing piano became second nature to him. He spent the late 1920s honing his skills in South Western territory bands, such as Millard McNeal's Melody Boys, Thomas Lee's Royal Aces, and The Deluxe Melody Boys, before joining Terence "Tee" Holder's respected unit, returning to San Antonio when Holder disbanded in 1932.


Between 1932 and 1934, Glenn played with the local band of Boots & His Buddies and enjoyed a brief spell with Nat Towles, before leaving to join Don Albert's Orchestra as pianist/arranger in the summer of 1934. While with Albert, Glenn made his recording debut with the band in November 1936 for Vocalion. Eight numbers were recorded all arranged or co-arranged by him, including the original version of You Don't Love Me which would become famous in the late 1940s with successful recordings by Paul Gayten and Camille Howard.

Family commitments led Lloyd to quit Don Albert's band in 1937 to take up local teaching jobs and he moved to California in 1941, eventually settling in Los Angeles in 1945 where he spent the rest of his life. It wasn't long before Glenn was gigging and recording with the jump bands of Red Mack and Gene Phillips, finding employment as a session musician and arranger, often with fellow Texans like Henry Hayes on Aladdin in 1946, and most famously with T-Bone Walker on Black & White Records in 1947 (They Call It Stormy Monday etc.). A couple of months later he made his own first solo records, as Lloyd Glenn & His Joymakers for Imperial Records with Gene Phillips & His Rhythm Aces, a group that was already recording for Modern Records under Phillips' name, and his trio was also used to back vocalist Red Miller on the #1 R&B chart smash Bewildered in late 1948.

Lloyd Glenn joined Jack Lauderdale's Swing Time Records in 1949 as A&R man, and was soon cutting his own best-selling records as well as crafting hits for the likes of Lowell Fulson; in 1950, he was responsible for three of Fulson's best-selling records - Everyday I Have the Blues (# 3), Low Society Blues (# 8) and Blue Shadows (# 1) - while his own Old Time Shuffle (# 3) was followed by the chart-topping Chica Boo in 1951. Surprisingly, while Glenn was making these classics of the r&b idiom, he was holding down a regular nightly job as pianist in Kid Ory's Creole Jazz Band. Glenn left Ory in 1953, about the same time that he was contracted to Aladdin Records, staying with the company until the end of the decade and re-cutting many of his old hits. In 1960, Lloyd was asked by B B King to produce his My Kind Of Blues LP - which is King's own personal favourite - and he remained working mainly in the studio in the mid to late '60s with old friends like B B King and T-Bone Walker for BluesWay. Glenn began touring again in the 1970s, particularly with Gatemouth Brown and Joe Turner, and was soon recording again as featured artist for Black & Blue in France and Stockholm Records in Sweden. He died of a heart attack at the age of 75 on 23rd May 1985 at his home in Los Angeles.

11. Motherless Child (Blues)

Robert "Barbecue Bob" Hicks

Recorded by Barbecue Bob in Atlanta Georgia, November 5 1927, for the Columbia label.

Robert "Barbecue Bob" Hicks (1902 - 1931)[2]

Robert "Barbecue Bob" Hicks was born 11 September, 1902, in Walnut Grove, Walton Co., Georgia. Bob started playing six string guitar in his early teens after learning it from his brother, Charley Hicks (11 March 1900 - 28 September 1963), moving on to his signature twelve string after moving to Atlanta in 1923-24, also in his brother's footsteps.

In Atlanta he found employment at Titwell's Barbecue from where it is most likely he picked up his pseudonym. Bob made his recording debut for Columbia in Atlanta in March 1927, which must have been successful in the opinion of his producers as further sessions for Columbia included sides recorded in a purpose built studio in New York City.

Bob's recording during this period also included sides recorded with his brother Charley. Bob recorded regularly from 1927 until his death only four years later. Bob also recorded as the Georgia Cotton Pickers with Curley Weaver playing second guitar and Buddy Moss on harp again for Columbia in Atlanta in 1931.

Bob's style was his own employing almost exclusively open tunings in open A/G ("Spanish"), and occasionally open D/E ("Vestapol"), using a fingerstyle and bottleneck technique. Like all bluesmen he used a few melodies that he then re-arranged to suit a new vocal arrangement. He was a great singer and powerful twelve-string bottleneck guitarist in the 1920s. His inventive and varied arrangements are compelling rhythms that made him a musical standout. His percussive attack was totally unlike any of his peers and added a new dimension to Georgia Blues.

Bob died of "consumption", (Tuberculosis), on 21 October, 1931, in Lithonia, Georgia, and was buried near to his home.

12. It Hurts Me Too

Tampa Red Whittaker

Hudson Whittaker, later claimed by Elmore James or possibly Mel London

Written and recorded by Tampa Red for Bluebird Records between 1939 and 1940 and later recorded by Elmore James in Chicago Ilinois, 1957, for the Chief label.

Tampa Red (1904 - 1981)[3]

"Tampa Red" was born Hudson Woodbridge in Smithville, Georgia on January 8, 1904. He was raised by his grandmother's family, in Tampa, Florida. He later took their family name and is better known as "Tampa Red" Whittaker (he came from Tampa and had red hair). He migrated to Chicago in the mid-1920's and became friends with such luminaries as Ma Rainey, Georgia Tom Dorsey, and Big Bill Broonzy. He gained a measure of fame as a "guitar wizard" and was much in demand for session work. He pioneered the single-string style of bottleneck guitar.

Around 1934 he limited his live performances to the area surrounding Chicago and signed on with Victor Records, a stint that would last 20 years. An accomplished piano player, he was noted for his kazoo work when recording with his Chicago Five through the late 30's.

By 1941 he had partnered with pianist Big Maceo for numerous studio sessions and fronted a recording band that foreshadowed the renowned post-war Chicago sound.

He re-recorded "It Hurts Me Too" as "When Things Go Wrong With You" in 1949.

His wife and business manager, Frances, opened their Chicago home to numerous itinerant musicians, providing food, lodging and much-needed rehearsal space. After her death, Tampa Red fell into depression, drinking, and suffered a nervous breakdown.

In the early 60's he started to record again but had little desire to make a comeback. He entered a nursing home in 1974 and died on March 19, 1981 in Chicago, leaving behind a career that included blues standards like "Don't You Lie To Me" and "It Hurts Me Too". He was widely imitated and admired, having worked with everyone from Big Bill Broonzy to Ma Rainey, and he's credited with successfully bridging urban and country style blues at the height of his long career.

Elmore James (1918 - 1963)[4]
Elmore James.jpg

Elmore James was born Elmore Brooks in Richland, Mississippi on 27 January 1918.

In 1925 at the tender age of seven, Elmore constructs his first guitar.

He plays his first gigs, at Mississippi barrelhouses in 1932.

Elmore and his half brother Robert Earl Holston, form a blues duo in 1937, Elmore already knows Robert Johnson and Rice Miller later to be known as Sonny Boy Williamson II.

Elmore plays with Rice Miller at suppers and house dances on plantations in 1941 and two years later Elmore joins the US navy. He leaves the Navy in 1945 and returns to Mississippi.

By 1949 an acknowledged slide guitar virtuoso, Elmore joins pianist Willie Love's band.

Elmore makes his debut recordings for the Trumpet record label in 1951. A rehearsal version of 'Dust My Broom' is released and the following year 'I Believe', a remake of 'Dust My Broom', is a success, a year later he records for several labels, including Flair records.

Elmore joins Johnny Jones' band in 1955 for some engagements at Silvio's club in Chicago.

He records the classic 'The Twelve Year Old Boy' in 1957 for the Chief label in Chicago. After his new recordings turn out to be commercial failures, he returns to the South in 1958.

He cuts several fine tracks for the Fire Record label in New York in 1959, including 'The Sky is Crying' and possibly his finest version of 'Dust My Broom'.

Elmore makes further recordings for Fire Records in 1961, including the outstanding tracks 'Look on Yonder Wall' and 'Shake Your Moneymaker'.

Disillusioned by record business obstacles, Elmore again quits the North in 1962 to return to Mississippi.

On 23 May 1963, four days after returning to Chicago for another tilt at recording success, Elmore James dies of a heart attack in the home of his distant cousin Homesick James. He is buried in Durant, Mississippi.

Mel London Producer, owner of Chief and Age recording studio.

13. Someday After A While

Freddy King / Sonny Thompson

Recorded by Freddy King in Cincinnati Ohio, November 27 1962, for the King/Federal label

Freddy King (1934 - 1976)[5]

An African-American blues musician, Freddy King was born in Gilmer, Texas, on September 3, 1934, the son of J. T. Christian and Ella Mae King.

At the age of six he began playing guitar with his mother and an uncle, Leon King.

He moved to Chicago when he was sixteen and developed his style under the influence of Sam (Lightnin') Hopkins, Aaron Thibeaux (T-Bone) Walker,qqv Riley (B. B.) King (not a relative), and others. He claimed that Eddie Taylor and James Charles (Jimmie) Rodgersqv taught him how to use guitar picks.

From 1950 to 1958 he played in local clubs and in the latter year made his professional debut.

In the 1950s King worked with the Sonny Cooper Band and Earlee Payton's Blues Cats making records for the Parrot label.

In the 1960s he recorded under the Cotillion label with his own band.

In 1970 he signed with Shelter Records, a company partly owned by musician Leon Russell. He recorded with such early greats as Muddy Waters, Sonny Cooper, and T-Bone Walker.

In 1960 he also began touring the United States, Europe, and Australia, appearing in concert halls, night clubs, and at jazz and blues festivals. Some of his classic songs were "Have You Ever Loved a Woman," "Hide Away," and "Woman Across the River." Like many blues artists in the late 1960s and early 1970s King had close ties to the rock-and-roll world.

Musicians such as Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck recorded his songs, and King even toured with Clapton in the mid-1970s.

In 1963 he returned to Texas and settled in Dallas.

In 1971 he recorded the first major live album ever made in Austin at Armadillo World Headquarters, qv known as "The House That Freddie King Built." He opened the club and returned periodically for fund-raisers.

His recordings with Shelter Records brought him recognition throughout the state as a "top-notch Texas bluesman."

He married a woman named Jessie and they had seven children.

He died on December 28, 1976, and was buried in Hillcrest Memorial Park, Dallas.

14. Standin' Round Crying

McKinley Morganfield (Muddy Waters)
Muddy Waters.JPG

Recorded by Muddy Waters in Chicago Ilinois, Sept. 17 1952, for the Chess label.

McKinley Morganfield (1915 - 1983)

McKinley Morganfield (later to be known as Muddy Waters) is born at Rolling Fork, Mississippi, 4 April 1915. Shortly afterwards, Willie Dixon is born at Vicksburg, Mississippi. In 1918 after the death of his mother, Muddy is brought up by his grandmother on the Stovall Plantation, Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Having Learned how to play the harmonica, Muddy takes up the guitar in 1932.

Thanks to folk historian Alan Lomax of Washington's Library of Congress Archive of Folk Song, Muddy records his first two song in 1941, 'Country Blues' and 'I Be's Troubled'.

Muddy goes to Chicago in 1943, where he plays in clubs on the Southside and becomes friendly with bluesman Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Boy Williamson I, Eddie Boyd and Sunnyland Slim.

In April 1948, with Big Crawford on bass he records 'I Can't Be Satisfied' at Chess studios. The song is an updated version of 'I Be's Troubled'.

He records 'Rollin' and Tumblin', 'Rollin' Stone', 'Walkin' Blues', Louisiana Blues' and 'Evans Shuffle' in 1950.

Muddy's successes on the Chess label continue in 1953 with 'Hoochie Coochie Man', 'Baby Please Don't Go' and 'Blow Wind Blow', the following year he records 'I Just Want To Make Love To You'.

In 1956 Muddy records 'Just to Be with You' and in 1957 he records yet another blues classic, 'Got My Mojo Working'.

Muddy records two songs with Big Bill Broonzy, 'Lonesome Road Blues' and 'Southbound Train' in 1959. His performances at New York's Carnegie hall and at the Newport Festival in 1960 help him win over the white listening public.

British group the Rolling Stones take their name from one of Muddy's classic recordings.

Having become more and more involved with rock, muddy records a 'psychedelic album Electric Mud in 1968, which contains a version of the Rolling Stones 'Lets Spend the Night together'.

In 1976 Muddy leaves Chess for Blue Sky.

Muddy's last album King Bee is released in 1981.

Muddy Waters dies on 30 April 1983 at Westmont, Illinois.

15. Driftin' Blues

Photo of Johnny Moore's Three Blazers. (L-R) Charles Brown (piano), Johnny Moore (guitar) and Eddie Williams (bass fiddle)

Charles Brown / Johnny Moore / Eddie Williams

Recorded by Johnny Moore's Three Blazers, (later re-released by Charles Brown) in Los Angeles California, September 14, 1945 for the Philo/Aladdin label

Charles Brown (1922 - 1999)

Charles Brown is born in Texas City on 13 September 1922, he was raised by his maternal grandmother, after his mother died when he was six months old. He had piano lessons as a child and was a prominent member of his school band.

By 1936 he is a member of a band that plays on Galveston beach.

After taking a degree in chemistry he moved to Los Angeles in 1943 and worked for the American Government. However, the call of music proved strong and having moved to California in 1944, Charles wins an amateur talent contest at the Lincoln Theatre. He is soon recruited to be the pianist, in the guitarist Johnny Moore's trio the Three Blazerswith Eddie Williams on bass. Moore had a particular interest in doing this since the formular had already worked for his brother, Oscar Moore, who was the guitarist in a trio led by Nat King Cole.

It was Johnny Moore who first persuaded Charles to sing, and with his good looks and warm vocals, Johnny Moore's Three Blazers begin recording for Philo/Aladdin in 1945 and become a big West Coast attraction. They will go on to make more than 200 sides for that record label.

The Three Blazers record 'Merry Christmas Baby' in 1947, a hardy annual for the festive season during the late 1940's and the 1950's.

Having left the Three Blazers in 1948, Charles signs as a solo artist with Aladdin and soon enjoys a hit with 'Get Yourself Another Fool'.

In 1956 he sues Aladdin for unpaid royalties.

'Please Come Home for Christmas' released in 1960, becomes the second seasonal number to be indelibly associated with Charles.

He records an album in 1964, Ballards My Way, but his smooth is style entirely out of fashion on the early 1960's.

After taking some work away from music, he records Legend in 1969, but he continues to struggle. Blues 'n' Brown released in 1971, is a fine blues album. Charles is now enjoying steady work performing in clubs on the East Coast.

He makes his first recordings in Europe in 1979. A live album, I'm Gonna Push On!, recorded in Stockholm with a Swedish backing band, finds him in good form. "One More for the Road", released in 1986, shows that Charles is still going strong despite the years in the wilderness.

Charles wins a $15,000 Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989, from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation. He launches Rounder Records' subsdiary label, Bullseye Blues in 1990, with "All My Life". Bonnie Raitt invites him to open for her on tour.

Charles enjoying a resurgence of popularity in his seventies, releases his seventh album of the 1990's, in 1996 Honey Dipper.

"So Goes Love" is released in 1998.

Charles Brown dies on 21 January 1999, in Oakland, California.

Johnny Moore (1906 - 1969)

He was born John Dudley Moore, 20 October 1906, Austin, Texas and died 6 January 1969, Los Angeles, California.

The older brother of jazz guitarist Oscar Moore, the Moore family moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where Johnny and Oscar were raised and where they formed their own string band.

In the mid 1930s, like thousands of other Texans and Okies, the Moore brothers relocated to Los Angeles, where Oscar joined the King Cole Trio and Johnny, after several false starts, would hook up with fellow Texans Eddie Williams (born St Augustine 1912) and Charles Brown (born Texas City 1922).

The Three Blazers began winning amateur talent contests with alarming regularity, however their first recording deal was almost entirely due to the reputation of Oscar Moore: Robert Scherman of Atlas Records had recently lost Nat "King" Cole to Capitol and was eager to record another rhythm trio in a similar style, when Oscar told him of his brother's unrecorded group, so Scherman agreed to record the Blazers if Oscar would play with them. The records were subsequently released as by "Oscar Moore with The Three Blazer s" which upset Johnny terribly, and so the boys were soon looking for another record deal!

Johnny Moore was fiercely independent and notoriously distrusting of the recording business - he reportedly never once signed an exclusive contract for him or his band - and in retrospect this may have held the group back; even when, by 1946, it was clear that the trio's selling-point was the handsome young man at the piano, he refused to change the group's billing and insisted it remained "Johnny Moore's Three Blazers".

The fact that Charles Brown was the group's main asset became obvious from the recordings made in 1945 for Leon Rene's Exclusive label and the Mesner brothers' fledgling Philo/Aladdin Records which began to garner big local sales, culminating with "Drifting Blues" a #2 Billboard R&B hit in 1946. Moore's "non-exclusive" policy resulted in the trio hopping between Modern and Exclusive from 1946 to 1948, and enjoying an unending chart presence in the Billboard Top 10 with hits such as "Sunny Road" (#4), "So Long" (#4), "New Orleans Blues" (#4), "Changeable Woman Blues" (#5), "Groovy Movie Blues" (#10), "More Than You Know" (#4), and particularly the perennial "Merry Christmas Baby" (#3 1947, #8 1948 and #9 1949).

All of these hits, were sung by and often written by Charles, but he wasn't reaping any financial benefits because Johnny Moore was calling all the shots and often usurping the writer credits, and so the inevitable split came in 1948 with Charles signing an exclusive contract with Aladdin Records (and, tellingly, recording "Get Yourself Another Fool"!), while the remaining two Blazers continued with a succession of Charles Brown sound-alikes; Lee Barnes and Billy Valentine were used on the trio's RCA Victor recordings during 1949-50, Floyd Dixon covered the Aladdin and Combo sessions, and Frankie Ervin sang on the Modern, Blaze and Hollywood recordings from 1953 to 1955.

During the 1950s, Moore's main squeeze Mari Jones was also utilized on sessions for the Aladdin, Modern, R&B, Recorded In Hollywood, Money, Blaze and Holl ywood labels. Moore also continued to hit the Billboard R&B chart, albeit not nearly as frequently as his ex-employee, and scored with "Where Can I Find My Baby" (#8 1949), "Walkin' Blues" (#7 1949), "I'll Miss You" (#15 1949), "Dragnet Blues" (#8 1953) and "Johnny Ace's Last Letter" (#15 1955). During the rock 'n' roll revolution, like many of his contemporaries, Moore was out of favour and the recording deals were few and far between; for old times sake, Charles Brown had Johnny and Eddie Williams accompany him on a couple of his sessions during 1953/54 and, for the same reason, Leon Rene recorded him again for a solitary Rendezvous 45 in 1959, while during the 1960s, odd releases came out on tiny labels like Lilly and Cenco. Recommended Listening: "Charles Brown: The Classic Earliest Recordings" (JSP CD 7707) "Driftin' & Dreamin'" (Ace CDCHD 589) "The Cocktail Combos" (EMI/Capitol 52042) "Los Angeles Blues: The Complete RCA Recordings 1949-50" (Westside WESD 217)

Eddie Williams


16. Groaning The Blues

Willie Dixon

Recorded by Otis Rush in Chicago Ilinois, 1957, for the Cobra label


A real "from the cradle" CD has been compiled, which is entitled, "in the cradle".

The original recordings can be found on the following CDs:

  1. The Country Blues Roots of Eric Clapton - Under The Influence: Vol. 1; Catfish Records CD KATCD159; Made in England, 2000 $B.
  2. Bluesville Volume-1 Folk Blues; Ace Records Ltd. CDCH247; Made in Germany, 1988 (Scrapper Blackwell, mono rec. 1961) $A
  3. Leroy Carr, "Prison Bound Blues" Snapper Music Complete Blues Series, 2004; SBLUECD012 $C
  1. The Best Of Chess Blues Vol-1, "First Time I Met The Blues"; Charly Records Ltd. CD RED 11; made in France, 1999 $A.
  2. "Here 'Tis: The Original Versions of the Songs That Inspired Eric Clapton"; Connoisseur Collection CD VSOP CD 297, Made In England, 2000 $B
  1. The Best Of Chess Blues Vol-1, "First Time I Met The Blues"; Charly Records Ltd. CD RED 11; made in France, 1999 $A.
  2. "Natural Blues" , Wrasse Records 2000 $C
  1. The Best Of Chess Blues Vol-1, "First Time I Met The Blues"; Charly Records Ltd. CD RED 11; made in France, 1999 $A.
  2. Muddy Waters, "The Ultimate Collection"; 118 961-2 MCD 18961 $C.
  1. "Blues Masters: Living The Blues"; Time-Life Music CD R859-02, Made In The USA, 1995 $B
  1. Freddie King, "All His Hits"; Federal CD King-5012X, Made In Canada, 1987 $B.
  2. Freddie King, "Blues Guitar Hero: The Influential Early Sessions", Federal CDCHD 454 $C.
  1. Leroy Carr, "Prison Bound Blues" Snapper Music Complete Blues Series, 2004; SBLUECD012 $C
  2. "Blues & Soul Greats", Janda MIDCD032 1998 (N.B. This version is by Leadbelly. Other recording details not available) $C.
  1. "Jimmy Rogers His Best"; MCA Chess, 2003; B0000694-02 $C.
  1. "Jimmy Rogers His Best"; MCA Chess, 2003; B0000694-02 $C.
  1. Ray Charles, "The Birth Of Soul: The Complete Atlantic Rhythm & Blues Recordings, 1952-1959"; Atlantic Records CD Atlantic 7 82310-2, Made in the USA, 1991 $B.
  1. The Country Blues Roots of Eric Clapton - Under The Influence: Vol. 1; Catfish Records CD KATCD159; Made in England, 2000 $B
  1. The Country Blues Roots of Eric Clapton - Under The Influence: Vol. 1; Catfish Records CD KATCD159; Made in England, 2000, (N.B. This version is by Tampa Red and was recorded before the Elmore James version.) $B.
  2. "Here 'Tis: The Original Versions of the Songs That Inspired Eric Clapton"; Connoisseur Collection CD VSOP CD 297, Made In England, 2000 $B
  3. "Blues & Soul Greats", Janda MIDCD032 1998 $C
  4. The Immortal Elmore James - King of the Bottleneck Blues; Music Collections Int. MCCD 083; Made in EEC, 1992; (Fire label rec. 1950s) $A
  1. Freddy King, "Taking Care Of Business"; Charly Records Ltd. CD CHARLY 30; made in France, 1986 $A.
  2. The Country Blues Roots of Eric Clapton - Under The Influence: Vol. 1; Catfish Records CD KATCD159; Made in England, 2000 $B.
  1. "Here 'Tis: The Original Versions of the Songs That Inspired Eric Clapton"; Connoisseur Collection CD VSOP CD 297, Made In England, 2000 $B
  1. "Johnny Otis Presents: The Best of R&B - Vol. 5"; LaserLight Digital CD 12 195, Made in the USA, 1993 $B.
  1. Charly Blues Masterworks - Vol. 24 - "Otis Rush: Double Trouble"; Charly R&B CD BM 24, Made In England, 1992 $B.


  • Main body of work: Slainte - tullamore.tree@bigpond.com, posted on alt.music.eric-clapton ~2005
  • Additional recording information: John Walasko, Vancouver, BC, Canada (Slowhand Digest 2000)
  • Biographies on Lloyd Glenn, Johnny Moore & Barbeque Bob Hicks: uncovered by Migrant Worker
  • Original recordings unearthed by Carey Bird & ToeKneeF


  • ClaptonBoots - Guidelines & FAQ: [6].
  • ClaptonBoots - Yahoo Group: [7].

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