Man, I don’t know what it is, but I am feeling generous today. I think its cause I am just chillin’ without a care in the world. If you are feeling this way, please, listen with me.
Aaron Thibeaux “T-Bone” Walker (May 28, 1910 – March 16, 1975) was a critically acclaimed American blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who was one of the most influential pioneers and innovators of the jump blues and electric blues sound. He is the first musician recorded playing blues with the electric guitar. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked him at #47 on their list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.
By 1942, with his second album release, Walker’s new-found musical maturity and ability had advanced to the point that Rolling Stone claimed that he “shocked everyone” with his newly developed distinctive song upon the release of his first single “Mean Old World”, on the Capitol Records label. Much of his output was recorded from 1946–1948 on Black & White Records, including his most famous song, 1947′s “Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just as Bad)”. Other notable songs he recorded during this period were “Bobby Sox Blues” (a #3 R&B hit in 1946), and “West Side Baby” (#8 on the R&B singles charts in 1948).
Throughout his career Walker worked with top notch musicians, including trumpeter Teddy Buckner, pianist Lloyd Glenn, Billy Hadnott (bass), and tenor saxophonist Jack McVea.
Following his work with Black & White, he recorded from 1950-54 for Imperial Records (backed by Dave Bartholomew). Walker’s only record in the next five years was T-Bone Blues, recorded over three widely separated sessions in 1955, 1956 and 1959, and finally released by Atlantic Records in 1960.
By the early 1960s, Walker’s career had slowed down, in spite of a hyped appearance at the American Folk Blues Festival in 1962 with Memphis Slim and prolific writer and musician, Willie Dixon, among others. Several critically acclaimed albums followed, such as I Want a Little Girl (recorded for Delmark Records in 1968). Walker recorded in his last years, from 1968–1975, for Robin Hemingway’s Jitney Jane Songs music publishing company, and he won a Grammy Award for Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording in 1971 for Good Feelin’, while signed by Polydor Records, produced by Hemingway, followed by another album produced by Hemmingway; Walker’s Fly Walker Airlines which was released in 1973.
T-Bone Walker at the American Folk Blues Festival in Hamburg, March 1972
Persistent stomach woes and a 1974 stroke slowed Walker’s career down to a crawl. He died of bronchial pneumonia following another stroke in March 1975, at the age of 64. Walker was interred in the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California.