TNB Night Owl – Blues Selections

John Lee Hooker. Image captured by the News Blender.

Originally, this Night Owl was titled “Blues Selection of Greats” which obviously is unnecessarily redundant – all blues songs are great. Here are just a few of the best of the best, selected to (hopefully) reflect the deep impact that blues has had on popular music. Rock ‘n roll, R&B, soul, country, and all manner of pop hits were influenced by the blues. Listening to some of the recordings below, it’s amazing how far ahead of their time they were.

Blues music was first recorded in the twenties and thirties, though its earliest roots began decades earlier. The genre really took off in the post-war years with the availability of electric guitars and amplifiers. Mississippi Delta, Memphis, and Chicago blues were the most popular variants, and some of each are represented here.

In most cases, I found it difficult to choose between original recordings and live performance videos. The original records almost always sound better, but the live shows are more visually interesting. I decided honoring the ear took precedent over candy for the eyes. Fortunately, there are a couple of live videos near the end that please both ears and eyes.

1941
Baby Please Don’t Go
Big Joe Williams
(2:50)

1948
Boogie Chillen
John Lee Hooker
(3:10)

1952
Dust My Broom
Elmore James
(2:56)

1954
Hoochie Coochie Man
Muddy Waters
(2:55)

1956
Smokestack Lightnin’
Howlin’ Wolf
(3:09)

1960
The Sky Is Crying
Elmore James
(2:48)

1962
Boom Boom
John Lee Hooker
(4:19)

1967
Born Under a Bad Sign
Albert King
(2:50)

1969
The Thrill Is Gone
B.B. King
(5:29)

1983
Pride and Joy
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
(3:40)

1983
Texas Flood
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble

(9:31)

1986
Blues Boogie Jam
John Lee Hooker, Carlos Santana, and (looks like) Elvin Bishop
Recorded Live: 7/18/1986
Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA
(7:23)

1990
Still Got The Blues
Gary Moore

(4:31)

1991
Damn Right, I’ve Got the Blues
Buddy Guy
(4:30)

Question Of The Night: When you were a kid, what was your favorite frozen treat? (e.g., popsicle, creamsicle, nuttybutty, etc.)

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About Richard Doud 332 Articles
Learning is a life-long endeavor. Never stop learning. No one is right all the time. No one is wrong all the time. No exceptions to these rules.