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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Showing posts with label Houston Stackhouse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Houston Stackhouse. Show all posts

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cool Drink Of Water - Joe Willie Wilkins, Houston Stackhouse

Joe Willie Wilkins (January 7, 1923 – March 28, 1979 was an American Memphis blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. Whilst he influenced contemporaries such as Houston Stackhouse, Robert Nighthawk, David Honeyboy Edwards, and Jimmy Rogers, Wilkins' bigger impact was on up and coming guitarists, including Little Milton, B.B. King, and Albert King. Wilkins' songs included "Hard Headed Woman" and "It's Too Bad." Wilkins was born in Davenport, Coahoma County, Mississippi. He grew up on a plantation near Bobo. His father, Papa Frank Wilkins, was a local sharecropper and guitarist, whose friend was the country bluesman, Charley Patton. Young Wilkins learned to play guitar, harmonica and accordion. His early proficiency of the guitar, and slavish devotion to learning from records, earned him the nickname of "Walking Seeburg" (Seeburg Corporation being an early manufacturer of jukebox). Becoming a well-known musician in the Mississippi Delta, by the early 1940s Wilkins took over from Robert Lockwood, Jr. in Sonny Boy Williamson II's band. In 1941, Wilkins reloacted to Helena, Arkansas, and joined both Williamson and Lockwood on KFFA Radio's "King Biscuit Time". Through the 1940s Wilkins broadcast regularly playing alongside Williamson, Willie Love, Robert Nighthawk, Elmore James, Memphis Slim, Houston Stackhouse and Howlin' Wolf. His guitar playing appeared on several recordings by Williamson, Love and Big Joe Williams, for the latter of whom he played bass. For Muddy Waters, Wilkins was noted as the first guitarist from the Delta who played single string guitar riffs without a slide. Later on Waters stated “ "The man is great, the man is stone great. For blues, like I say, he's the best." ” Forming The Three Aces with Willie Nix and Love in 1950, he rejoined Williamson at KWEM Radio, which led on to Wilkin's becoming part of the studio band at Sun Records. He was also utilised by Trumpet Records, and as a prominent sideman, Wilkins recorded with Williamson, Love, Nix, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, Roosevelt Sykes, Big Walter Horton, Little Walter, Mose Vinson, Joe Hill Louis, Elmore James, and Floyd Jones. Charley Booker's final recording was as a guest with Wilkins at a 1973 blues festival at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. The same year, Mimosa Records released a single of Wilkin's debut vocal performance. Adamo Records later issued a live album of some of his concert dates. His working relationship and friendship with Houston Stackhouse endured over the years, with Stackhouse at one time living in the same premises as Wilkins and his wife. Wilkins and Stackhouse played at various blues music festivals, and were part of the traveling Memphis Blues Caravan. After undergoing a colostomy in the late 1970s, Wilkins still continued to perform until his final East Coast tour in 1981. Wilkins is buried near Memphis in the Galilee Memorial Gardens.

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Big Road Blues - JAMES "PECK" CURTIS, Houston Stackhouse

King Biscuit Time is the longest-running daily American radio broadcast in history. The program is broadcast each weekday from KFFA in Helena, Arkansas, and has won the George Foster Peabody Award for broadcasting excellence. The first broadcast of King Biscuit Time was on November 21, 1941 on KFFA in Helena, and featured the African-American blues artists Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller) and Robert Lockwood, Jr. Williamson and Lockwood played live in the studio and were the key musicians in the original studio band, the King Biscuit Entertainers. Other musicians who joined the original band were Pinetop Perkins on piano and James Peck Curtis on drums. Williamson left the program in 1947 but returned for a stint in 1965 just prior to his death. The 30-minute long live radio program is broadcast at 12:15 every weekday and was named after the local flour company, King Biscuit Flour. The local grocery distributor financed the show at the behest of Williamson in exchange for endorsements and naming rights. KFFA was the only station that would play music by African-Americans, and it reached an audience throughout the Mississippi Delta region and inspired a host of important blues musicians including B.B. King, Robert Nighthawk, James Cotton, and Ike Turner. The show's 12:15 time slot was chosen to match the lunch break of African-American workers in the Delta. King Biscuit Time celebrated its 16,000th broadcast on June 22, 2010. KBT has more broadcasts than the Grand Ole Opry and American Bandstand. Since 1951 the program has been hosted by the award winning "Sunshine" Sonny Payne who opens each broadcast with "pass the biscuits, cause its King Biscuit Time!" Before Payne, the show was hosted by Hugh Smith from 1943-1951. Over the years the biggest names in blues have been associated with the program, and important blues artists continue to perform live.

 If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Cool Drink Of Water - Joe Willie Wilkins w/ Houston Stackhouse

Joe Willie Wilkins (January 7, 1921 – March 28, 1981) was an American Memphis blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. Whilst he influenced contemporaries such as Houston Stackhouse, Robert Nighthawk, David Honeyboy Edwards, and Jimmy Rogers, Wilkins' bigger impact was on up and coming guitarists, including Little Milton, B.B. King, and Albert King. Wilkins' songs included "Hard Headed Woman" and "It's Too Bad." Wilkins was born in Davenport, Coahoma County, Mississippi. He grew up on a plantation near Bobo. His father, Papa Frank Wilkins, was a local sharecropper and guitarist, whose friend was the country bluesman, Charley Patton. Young Wilkins learned to play guitar, harmonica and accordion. His early proficiency of the guitar, and slavish devotion to learning from records, earned him the nickname of "Walking Seeburg" (Seeburg Corporation being an early manufacturer of jukebox). Becoming a well-known musician in the Mississippi Delta, by the early 1940s Wilkins took over from Robert Lockwood, Jr. in Sonny Boy Williamson II's band. In 1941, Wilkins reloacted to Helena, Arkansas, and joined both Williamson and Lockwood on KFFA Radio's "King Biscuit Time". Through the 1940s Wilkins broadcast regularly playing alongside Williamson, Willie Love, Robert Nighthawk, Elmore James, Memphis Slim, Houston Stackhouse and Howlin' Wolf. His guitar playing appeared on several recordings by Williamson, Love and Big Joe Williams, for the latter of whom he played bass. For Muddy Waters, Wilkins was noted as the first guitarist from the Delta who played single string guitar riffs without a slide. Later on Waters stated “ "The man is great, the man is stone great. For blues, like I say, he's the best." ” Forming The Three Aces with Willie Nix and Love in 1950, he rejoined Williamson at KWEM Radio, which led on to Wilkin's becoming part of the studio band at Sun Records. He was also utilised by Trumpet Records, and as a prominent sideman, Wilkins recorded with Williamson, Love, Nix, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, Roosevelt Sykes, Big Walter Horton, Little Walter, Mose Vinson, Joe Hill Louis, Elmore James, and Floyd Jones. Charley Booker's final recording was as a guest with Wilkins at a 1973 blues festival at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. The same year, Mimosa Records released a single of Wilkin's debut vocal performance. Adamo Records later issued a live album of some of his concert dates. His working relationship and friendship with Houston Stackhouse endured over the years, with Stackhouse at one time living in the same premises as Wilkins and his wife. Wilkins and Stackhouse played at various blues music festivals, and were part of the traveling Memphis Blues Caravan. After undergoing a colostomy in the late 1970s, Wilkins still continued to perform until his final East Coast tour in 1981. Wilkins is buried near Memphis in the Galilee Memorial Gardens If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sloppy Drunk - Big Joe Williams and Houston Stackhouse

Joseph Lee Williams (October 16, 1903 – December 17, 1982), billed throughout his career as Big Joe Williams, was an American Delta blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, notable for the distinctive sound of his nine-string guitar. Performing over four decades, he recorded such songs as "Baby Please Don't Go", "Crawlin' King Snake" and "Peach Orchard Mama" for a variety of record labels, including Bluebird, Delmark, Okeh, Prestige and Vocalion. Williams was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame on October 4, 1992. Blues historian Barry Lee Pearson (Sounds Good to Me: The Bluesman's Story, Virginia Piedmont Blues) attempted to document the gritty intensity of the Williams persona in this description: "When I saw him playing at Mike Bloomfield's "blues night" at the Fickle Pickle, Williams was playing an electric nine-string guitar through a small ramshackle amp with a pie plate nailed to it and a beer can dangling against that. When he played, everything rattled but Big Joe himself. The total effect of this incredible apparatus produced the most buzzing, sizzling, African-sounding music I have ever heard". Born in Crawford, Mississippi, Williams as a youth began wandering across the United States busking and playing stores, bars, alleys and work camps. In the early 1920s he worked in the Rabbit Foot Minstrels revue and recorded with the Birmingham Jug Band in 1930 for the Okeh label. In 1934, he was in St. Louis, where he met record producer Lester Melrose who signed him to Bluebird Records in 1935. He stayed with Bluebird for ten years, recording such blues hits as "Baby, Please Don't Go" (1935) and "Crawlin' King Snake" (1941), both songs later covered by many other performers. He also recorded with other blues singers, including Sonny Boy Williamson I, Robert Nighthawk and Peetie Wheatstraw. Williams remained a noted blues artist in the 1950s and 1960s, with his guitar style and vocals becoming popular with folk-blues fans. He recorded for the Trumpet, Delmark, Prestige and Vocalion labels, among others. He became a regular on the concert and coffeehouse circuits, touring Europe and Japan in the late 1960s and early 1970s and performing at major U.S. music festivals. Marc Miller described a 1965 performance in Greenwich Village: "Sandwiched in between the two sets, perhaps as an afterthought, was the bluesman Big Joe Williams (not to be confused with the jazz and rhythm and blues singer Joe Williams who sang with Count Basie). He looked terrible. He had a big bulbous aneuristic protrusion bulging out of his forehead. He was equipped with a beat up old acoustic guitar which I think had nine strings and sundry homemade attachments and a wire hanger contraption around his neck fashioned to hold a kazoo while keeping his hands free to play the guitar. Needless to say, he was a big letdown after the folk rockers. My date and I exchanged pained looks in empathy for what was being done this Delta blues man who was ruefully out of place. After three or four songs the unseen announcer came on the p. a. system and said, "Lets have a big hand for Big Joe Williams, ladies and gentlemen; thank you, Big Joe". But Big Joe wasn't finished. He hadn't given up on the audience, and he ignored the announcer. He continued his set and after each song the announcer came over the p. a. and tried to politely but firmly get Big Joe off the stage. Big Joe was having none of it, and he continued his set with his nine-string acoustic and his kazoo. Long about the sixth or seventh song he got into his groove and started to wail with raggedy slide guitar riffs, powerful voice, as well as intense percussion on the guitar and its various accoutrements. By the end of the set he had that audience of jaded '60s rockers on their feet cheering and applauding vociferously. Our initial pity for him was replaced by wondrous respect. He knew he had it in him to move that audience, and he knew that thousands of watts and hundreds of decibels do not change one iota the basic power of a song". Williams' guitar playing was in the Delta blues style, and yet was unique. He played driving rhythm and virtuosic lead lines simultaneously and sang over it all. He played with picks both on his thumb and index finger, plus his guitar was heavily modified. Williams added a rudimentary electric pick-up, whose wires coiled all over the top of his guitar. He also added three extra strings, creating unison pairs for the first, second and fourth strings. His guitar was usually tuned to Open G, like such: (D2 G2 D3D3 G3 B3B3 D4D4), with a capo placed on the second fret to set the tuning to the key of A. During the 1920s and 1930s, Williams had gradually added these extra strings in order to keep other guitar players from being able to play his guitar. In his later years, he would also occasionally use a 12-string guitar with all strings tuned in unison to Open G. Williams sometimes tuned a six-string guitar to an interesting modification of Open G. In this modified tuning, the bass D string (D2) was replaced with a .08 gauge string and tuned to G4. The resulting tuning was (G4 G2 D3 G3 B3 D4), with the G4 string being used as a melody string. This tuning was used exclusively for slide playing He died December 17, 1982 in Macon, Mississippi. Williams was buried in a private cemetery outside Crawford near the Lowndes County line. His headstone was primarily paid for by friends and partially funded by a collection taken up among musicians at Clifford Antone's nightclub in Austin, Texas, organized by California music writer Dan Forte, and erected through the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund on October 9, 1994. Harmonica virtuoso and one time touring companion of Williams, Charlie Musselwhite, delivered the eulogy at the unveiling. Williams' headstone epitaph, composed by Forte, proclaims him "King of the 9 String Guitar." Remaining funds raised for Williams' memorial were donated by the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund to the Delta Blues Museum in order to purchase the last nine-string guitar from Williams' sister Mary May. The guitar purchased by the Museum is actually a 12-string guitar that Williams used in his later days. The last nine-string (a 1950s Kay cutaway converted to Williams' nine-string specifications) is missing at this time. Williams' previous nine-string (converted from a 1944 Gibson L-7) is in the possession of Williams' road agent and fellow traveler, Blewett Thomas. One of Williams' nine-string guitars can be found under the counter of the Jazz Record Mart in Chicago, which is owned by Bob Koester, the founder of Delmark Records. Williams can be seen playing the nine-string guitar in American Folk-Blues Festival: The British Tours, 1963-1966, a 2007 DVD release. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I Asked For Water - Houston Stackhouse


Houston Stackhouse (September 28, 1910 – September 23, 1980) was an American Delta blues guitarist and singer. He is best known for his association and work with Robert Nighthawk. Although Stackhouse was not especially noted as a guitarist nor singer, Nighthawk showed gratitude for being taught to play by Stackhouse, by backing him on a number of recordings in the late 1960s. Apart from a tour to Europe, Stackhouse confined his performing around the Mississippi Delta.

Stackhouse was born Houston Goff, in Wesson, Mississippi, and was the son of Garfield Goff. He was raised by James Wade Stackhouse on the Randall Ford Plantation, and Stackhouse only learned the details of his parentage when he applied for a passport in later life.

Relocating in his teenage years with his family to Crystal Springs, Mississippi, he became inspired listening to records by Blind Blake, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lonnie Johnson, and by local musicians. By the late 1930s, Stackhouse had played guitar around the Delta states and worked with members of the Mississippi Sheiks, plus Robert Johnson, Charlie McCoy and Walter Vinson. He also teamed up with his distant cousin, Robert Nighthawk, whom he taught how to play guitar.Originally a fan of Tommy Johnson, Stackhouse often covered his songs. In 1946, Stackhouse moved to Helena, Arkansas to live near to Nighthawk, and for a time was a member of Nighthawk’s band, playing on KFFA radio.

He split from Nighthawk in 1947 and alongside the drummer James "Peck" Curtis, appeared on KFFA's "King Biscuit Time" programme, with the guitar player Joe Willie Wilkins plus pianists Pinetop Perkins and Robert Traylor. Sonny Boy Williamson II then rejoined the show, and that combo performed across the Delta, using their radio presence to advertise their concert performances.

Stackhouse tutored both Jimmy Rogers and Sammy Lawhorn on guitar techniques. Between 1948 and 1954, Stackhouse worked during the day at the Chrysler plant in West Memphis, Arkansas, and played the blues in his leisure time. He did not move from the South, unlike many of his contemporaries, and continued to perform locally into the 1960s with Frank Frost, Boyd Gilmore and Baby Face Turner. In May 1965, Sonny Boy Williamson II, who was by then back on "King Biscuit Time", utilised Stackhouse when he was recorded in concert by Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie Records. The recording was issued under Williamson's name, titled King Biscuit Time. Shortly afterwards, Williamson died, but Stackhouse continued briefly on the radio program, back in tandem with Nighthawk
Stackhouse returned to Helena, where he died in September 1980, at the age of 69. A son, Houston Stackhouse Jr., survived him
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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cool Drinka Water - Houston Stackhouse and Joe Willie Wilkins


Joe Willie Wilkins (January 7, 1921 – March 28, 1981) was an American Memphis blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. Whilst he influenced contemporaries such as Houston Stackhouse, Robert Nighthawk, David Honeyboy Edwards, and Jimmy Rogers, Wilkins' bigger impact was on up and coming guitarists, including Little Milton, B.B. King, and Albert King. Wilkins' songs included "Hard Headed Woman" and "It's Too Bad."
Wilkins was born in Davenport, Coahoma County, Mississippi. He grew up on a plantation near Bobo. His father, Papa Frank Wilkins, was a local sharecropper and guitarist, whose friend was the country bluesman, Charley Patton. Young Wilkins learned to play guitar, harmonica and accordion. His early proficiency of the guitar, and slavish devotion to learning from records, earned him the nickname of "Walking Seeburg" (Seeburg Corporation being an early manufacturer of jukebox).

Becoming a well-known musician in the Mississippi Delta, by the early 1940s Wilkins took over from Robert Lockwood, Jr. in Sonny Boy Williamson II's band. In 1941, Wilkins reloacted to Helena, Arkansas, and joined both Williamson and Lockwood on KFFA Radio's "King Biscuit Time". Through the 1940s Wilkins broadcast regularly playing alongside Williamson, Willie Love, Robert Nighthawk, Elmore James, Memphis Slim, Houston Stackhouse and Howlin' Wolf. His guitar playing appeared on several recordings by Williamson, Love and Big Joe Williams, for the latter of whom he played bass.

For Muddy Waters, Wilkins was noted as the first guitarist from the Delta who played single string guitar riffs without a slide. Later on Waters stated
“ "The man is great, the man is stone great. For blues, like I say, he's the best." ”


Forming The Three Aces with Willie Nix and Love in 1950, he rejoined Williamson at KWEM Radio, which led on to Wilkin's becoming part of the studio band at Sun Records. He was also utilised by Trumpet Records, and as a prominent sideman, Wilkins recorded with Williamson, Love, Nix, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, Roosevelt Sykes, Big Walter Horton, Little Walter, Mose Vinson, Joe Hill Louis, Elmore James, and Floyd Jones.

Charley Booker's final recording was as a guest with Wilkins at a 1973 blues festival at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. The same year, Mimosa Records released a single of Wilkin's debut vocal performance. Adamo Records later issued a live album of some of his concert dates.

His working relationship and friendship with Houston Stackhouse endured over the years, with Stackhouse at one time living in the same premises as Wilkins and his wife. Wilkins and Stackhouse played at various blues music festivals, and were part of the traveling Memphis Blues Caravan. After undergoing a colostomy in the late 1970s, Wilkins still continued to perform until his final East Coast tour in 1981.

Wilkins is buried near Memphis in the Galilee Memorial Gardens.
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Canned Heat Blues - Houston Stackhouse


Houston Stackhouse (September 28, 1910 – September 23, 1980) was an American Delta blues guitarist and singer. He is best known for his association and work with Robert Nighthawk. Although Stackhouse was not especially noted as a guitarist nor singer, Nighthawk showed gratitude for being taught to play by Stackhouse, by backing him on a number of recordings in the late 1960s. Apart from a tour to Europe, Stackhouse confined his performing around the Mississippi Delta.
Stackhouse was born Houston Goff, in Wesson, Mississippi, and was the son of Garfield Goff. He was raised by James Wade Stackhouse on the Randall Ford Plantation, and Stackhouse only learned the details of his parentage when he applied for a passport in later life.

Relocating in his teenage years with his family to Crystal Springs, Mississippi, he became inspired listening to records by Blind Blake, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lonnie Johnson, and by local musicians. By the late 1930s, Stackhouse had played guitar around the Delta states and worked with members of the Mississippi Sheiks, plus Robert Johnson, Charlie McCoy and Walter Vinson. He also teamed up with his distant cousin, Robert Nighthawk, whom he taught how to play guitar. Originally a fan of Tommy Johnson, Stackhouse often covered his songs. In 1946, Stackhouse moved to Helena, Mississippi to live near to Nighthawk, and for a time was a member of Nighthawk’s band, playing on KFFA radio.

He split from Nighthawk in 1947 and alongside the drummer James "Peck" Curtis, appeared on KFFA's "King Biscuit Time" programme, with the guitar player Joe Willie Wilkins plus pianists Pinetop Perkins and Robert Traylor. Sonny Boy Williamson II then rejoined the show, and that combo performed across the Delta, using their radio presence to advertise their concert performances.

Stackhouse tutored both Jimmy Rogers and Sammy Lawhorn on guitar techniques. Between 1948 and 1954, Stackhouse worked during the day at the Chrysler plant in West Memphis, Arkansas, and played the blues in his leisure time. He did not move from the South, unlike many of his contemporaries, and continued to perform locally into the 1960s with Frank Frost, Boyd Gilmore and Baby Face Turner. In May 1965, Sonny Boy Williamson II, who was by then back on "King Biscuit Time", utilised Stackhouse when he was recorded in concert by Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie Records. The recording was issued under Williamson's name, titled King Biscuit Time. Shortly afterwards, Williamson died, but Stackhouse continued briefly on the radio program, back in tandem with Nighthawk.

In 1967, George Mitchell recorded Stackhouse in Dundee, Mississippi. Named the Blues Rhythm Boys, Stackhouse was joined by both Curtis and Nighthawk, although the latter died shortly after the recording was made. Another field researcher, David Evans, recorded Stackhouse in Crystal Springs, but by 1970 following the deaths of both Curtis and Mason, Stackhouse had moved on to Memphis, Tennessee. There he resided with his old friend Joe Willie Wilkins and his wife Carrie. At the height of the blues revival Stackhouse toured with Wilkins, and the Memphis Blues Caravan, and appeared at various music festivals. His lone trip overseas saw Stackhouse play in 1976 in Vienna, Austria.

Earlier in February 1972, Stackhouse recorded an album titled Cryin' Won't Help You. It was released on CD in 1994.

Stackhouse returned to Helena, where he died in September 1980, at the age of 69. A son, Houston Stackhouse Jr., survived him.

The acoustic stage at the annual Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival is named after Stackhouse.

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