The Fountainhead: Aaron Thibeaux 'T-Bone' Walker
November 14, 2007 1:38 AM   Subscribe

Consider Aaron Thibeaux Walker--if anyone ever deserved the title Godfather, King or Present at the Creation, it would be T-Bone Walker. Without T-Bone, there would be no B.B. King, Albert King, no Clarence Gatemouth Brown, no Pee Wee Crayton, Johnny 'Guitar' Watson ad infinitum to every blues guitarist whoever bent a tube amplified string thereafter. For rock and blues, electric lead guitar begins with him--he invented the language and then wrote the book and style manual, too. And he wrote the performance manual as well--dancing, doing splits, playing guitar behind his back while alternating betwen slow and smoky after hour blues and swinging combo and jazzy big band jumps. For examples of him at the height of his powers, give these Coralized mp3s--Cold Cold Feeling and Strollin' With Bones--a listen.

And what a life he led, one that encompassed the whole genre--leading Blind Lemon Jefferson through the streets of Dallas as a boy, traveling as a teenager with medicine shows, playing with likes of Ma Rainey in the 20s, cutting a 78 in 1929 as Oak Cliff T-Bone before ever moving to LA in the 30s, picking up an electric guitar and creating what became known as Rhythm 'n Blues.

As for YouTubery, here are

Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong
She's My Old Time Used To Be
In a candid moment, here is T-Bone Walker with Chuck Berry, feeling good.

And, as for you do-it-yourselfers, here are

Play '40s and '50s Jump Style Blues
Play Blues Guitar Like T Bone Walker - Guitar Lesson
The Solo Secrets of T Bone Walker

Meanwhile, there's some great anecdotage at The Rhumboogie Label. And as for more T-Bone goodness, well, Call Me When You Need Me...
posted by y2karl (8 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Right fucking on. Great post.
posted by Wolof at 1:59 AM on November 14, 2007

thanks y2
I dig this kind of stuff.
posted by nicolin at 2:02 AM on November 14, 2007

Righteous linking! 'The Blue' has enough blues to waste half my week and some of my personal time, also. Keep it up.
posted by a_green_man at 2:58 AM on November 14, 2007

Holy shit that was awesome. From the first youtube link - I never realised he held the guitar like that. I've heard his stuff many times but never actually saw any video. Amazing.
posted by Sk4n at 6:21 AM on November 14, 2007

Sweet Christ, this is fantastic.
posted by billypilgrim at 8:03 AM on November 14, 2007

Awesome linkage, thanks. Wonderful to learn about his life. Love his music.
posted by nickyskye at 8:53 AM on November 14, 2007

Looks like you brought down with this post. Excellent work!
posted by middleclasstool at 9:19 AM on November 14, 2007

Awesome post, y2karl. You are the blues professor, I learn so much from you.

Here are a few more good T Bone clips:
Stormy Monday
T Bone Walker & BB King
T Bone Walker & Dizzie Giillespie
(All from Mandy39, who has an excellent collection of vintage gospel & blues clips on YouTube)
posted by madamjujujive at 12:04 AM on November 15, 2007

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