John Lee Hooker



“Hooker is part of a rapidly thinning group—the first line of the postwar bluesmen, who put the R in R&B, and he stands as a link between the field hollers of old and the smack-soul of today.”
—Tony Glover

“Nothin’ but the best, and later for the rest of the mess,” John Lee Hooker has been fond of announcing between songs in performances over the past several years, and for the same length of time he has consistently offered just that.

The legion of rock stars or groups who have drawn not only on his material but his style seems infinite, and includes the Stones, the Animals, Cream, Johnny Winter, and Canned Heat.

Hook is one of the greatest exponents of urban blues and R&B, but as he says, “Man, it’s all blues to me.” At an earlier stage in his music, he was a direct descendant in the line of Delta bluesmen which stretched from Charlie Patton and Son House to Robert Johnson and Bukka White.

One of eleven brothers and sisters, Hooker was born near Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1917. Early instruction on guitar came from his stepfather, William Moore, and from Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Blake, and Charlie Patton, who used to visit the Moore household frequently.

By the time he was 14, he was already an accomplished musician playing at dances, picnics, houseparties, and fish-fries. And at that age he left home, heading first for Memphis where, during the Depression, he worked as an usher at the New Daisy picture show. He also sang in a gospel choir in one of the city’s Baptist churches. Two years later he moved to Cincinnati, and finally settled in Detroit in 1943 taking up work in one of the motor plants.

In the evenings he began to work frequently in the Motor City’s night clubs where his dark, evocative vocals and the rhythmic surge of his guitar accompaniment caught the ear of a talent scout for the West Coast-based Modern Records label. His first record for the label in 1948 coupled “Sallie May” with “Boogie Chillun.” It was a massive hit, and his instant success led to a number of recording sessions on other labels—under a variety of pseudonyms because he was under contract to Modern. He was an original, one-of-a-kind, the pioneer of R&B.

Hooker signed on with Vee Jay, a Chicago label, in 1955 and stayed with them for nine years. Strangely, his first album (as opposed to R&B singles) was recorded in 1959 for Riverside (“by arrangement with Vee Jay”), and in that year he also became a darling of the folk club circuit.

The first record released by the Spencer Davis Group in Britain was Hooker’s “Dimples” in March 1964. At the same time Hooker made a surprise tour of the country and his own version of the song was issued. The nation took to Hooker and the Davis record stiffed.
Pretty much since then, Hooker has been accepted simply as an artist by people listening to all kinds of music. No strings or categories attached.

The music presented in Boogie Chillun was recorded for Fantasy’s associate Galaxy label. The first two sides were recorded at the now-defunct Sugar Hill club in San Francisco’s North Beach area. Sides three and four were recorded in November 1962 during that same Sugar Hill engagement, and have never been previously issued.

Hooker’s recording has been so prolific that no single release could be claimed to be his absolute best. That is not the intent with the package at hand. In compiling this music, the effort has been to achieve a balance between versions of Hooker’s hits as a reference point, and songs which he has recorded far less frequently, which are as a result, not so well known.

John Lee Hooker died on June 21, 2001


King Of The Boogie

copertina album

CD album
Craft Recordings
UPC 00888072028920
Nel 2017 John Lee Hooker avrebbe compiuto 100 anni. Per celebrare l’anniversario, Concord presenta questo straordinario tributo al grande bluesman: 100 tracce su 5CD ripercorrono la carriera di Hooker, tra brani entrati nel mito, rarità, registrazioni dal vivo e materiale INEDITO. In formato libro (di 56 pagine), il box è inoltre uno scrigno di foto e di testi siglati dallo storico e biografo Jas Obrecht così come da Mike Kappus, per lunghi anni manager dell’artista. Noto già dagli esordi come “KING OF THE BOOGIE”, John Lee Hooker è da sempre considerato in tutto il mondo una delle vere superstar del blues, così come è universalmente riconosciuta l’influenza della sua arte su tanta musica di oggi: in poche parole, il suo è un messaggio trasversale che ha travalicato generi e linguaggi, raggiungendo schiere di appassionati nel corso di decenni di incisioni e concerti, interrotti solo dalla scomparsa nel 2011.


Supporto 1
1 Boogie Chillen
03:08 John Lee Hooker
2 Sally Mae
03:15 John Lee Hooker
3 Hobo Blues
03:02 John Lee Hooker
4 Crawlin' King Snake
02:58 John Lee Hooker
5 Black Man Blues
03:31 John Lee Hooker
6 Goin’ Mad Blues
03:46 John Lee Hooker
7 Who’s Been Jiving You
03:05 John Lee Hooker
8 (Miss Sadie Mae) Curl My Baby’s Hair
02:55 John Lee Hooker
9 Hoogie Boogie
02:58 John Lee Hooker
10 Burnin' Hell (Album Version)
02:42 John Lee Hooker
11 Weeping Willow Boogie
02:52 John Lee Hooker
12 Moaning Blues
03:06 John Lee Hooker
13 Huckle Up Baby (Album Version)
02:46 John Lee Hooker
14 Goin' Down Highway 51 (Album Version)
02:28 John Lee Hooker
15 John L's House Rent Boogie
02:55 John Lee Hooker
16 I'm In The Mood
03:05 John Lee Hooker
17 Two White Horses
03:22 John Lee Hooker
18 33 Blues
02:02 John Lee Hooker
19 Sugar Mama
03:12 John Lee Hooker
20 Wobbling Baby
02:37 John Lee Hooker
21 Stuttering Blues
02:14 John Lee Hooker
22 I’m A Boogie Man
02:24 John Lee Hooker
23 Down Child
02:55 John Lee Hooker
24 Odds Against Me (aka Backbiters And Syndicators) (Album Version)
03:06 John Lee Hooker
25 Shake, Holler And Run
02:59 John Lee Hooker
Supporto 2
1 Unfriendly Woman (aka Stop Now)
02:54 John Lee Hooker
2 Mambo Chillun
02:48 John Lee Hooker
3 Time Is Marching
03:01 John Lee Hooker
4 Dimples
02:12 John Lee Hooker
5 Little Wheel
02:36 John Lee Hooker
6 I Love You Honey
02:32 John Lee Hooker
7 Drive Me Away
02:54 John Lee Hooker
8 Maudie
02:21 John Lee Hooker
9 When I Lay My Burden Down
02:40 John Lee Hooker
10 Tupelo Blues (Album Version)
03:24 John Lee Hooker
11 Good Morning lil' School Girl (Album Version)
03:41 John Lee Hooker
12 I Rolled And Turned And Cried The Whole Night Long (Album Version)
03:49 John Lee Hooker
13 No More Doggin' (Album Version)
02:48 John Lee Hooker
14 Dusty Road
02:18 John Lee Hooker
15 No Shoes
02:23 John Lee Hooker
16 My First Wife Left Me
03:33 John Lee Hooker
17 Crazy About That Walk
03:04 John Lee Hooker
18 Want Ad Blues
02:16 John Lee Hooker
19 Will The Circle Be Unbroken
02:35 John Lee Hooker
20 I'm Going Upstairs
02:55 John Lee Hooker
21 I Lost My Job
02:57 John Lee Hooker
22 Don’t Turn Me From Your Door
02:41 John Lee Hooker
23 Grinder Man
03:56 John Lee Hooker
24 Meat Shakes On Her Bone
02:50 John Lee Hooker
Supporto 3
1 Boom Boom
02:30 John Lee Hooker
2 Blues Before Sunrise
03:51 John Lee Hooker
3 She’s Mine (Mono)
02:23 John Lee Hooker
4 Frisco Blues
02:47 John Lee Hooker
5 Good Rockin' Mama
02:28 John Lee Hooker
6 I'm Leaving
02:14 John Lee Hooker
7 Birmingham Blues
02:54 John Lee Hooker
8 Don't Look Back
02:56 John Lee Hooker
9 Big Legs, Tight Skirt
02:16 John Lee Hooker
10 It Serves Me Right
03:36 John Lee Hooker
11 Money (Album Version)
02:27 John Lee Hooker
12 One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer (Album Version)
02:59 John Lee Hooker
13 The Motor City Is Burning (Album Version)
02:48 John Lee Hooker
14 Mean Mean Woman (Single Version)
03:22 John Lee Hooker
15 Doin' The Shout (Album Version)
03:30 John Lee Hooker
16 Homework
04:26 John Lee Hooker
17 Early One Morning
04:02 John Lee Hooker
18 Rockin' Chair
04:09 John Lee Hooker
19 Hittin' The Bottle Again
02:21 John Lee Hooker
20 Deep Blue Sea
04:06 John Lee Hooker
21 Spellbound
03:57 John Lee Hooker
Supporto 4
1 The Hobo (Live From Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI / 6/25/1960)
03:08 John Lee Hooker
2 Maudie (Live From Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI / 6/25/1960)
02:44 John Lee Hooker
3 Shake It Baby (Live From American Folk Blues Festival, Hamburg, Germany / 10/18/1962)
04:04 John Lee Hooker
4 Boogie Chillun (Live)
02:57 John Lee Hooker
5 Bottle Up & Go (Live From San Francisco, CA / 11/02/1962)
03:14 John Lee Hooker
6 Crawlin' King Snake (Live From San Francisco, CA / 11/02/1962)
05:00 John Lee Hooker
7 The Mighty Fire (Live From Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI / July 1963)
04:39 John Lee Hooker
8 You’ve Got To Walk Yourself (Live From Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI / July 1963)
04:59 John Lee Hooker
9 I'm Bad Like Jesse James (Live At Cafe Au-Go-Go/1966)
05:31 John Lee Hooker
10 Boogie Everywhere I Go (Live At Soledad Prison/1972)
08:31 John Lee Hooker
11 She's Gone (Live From Berlin, Germany / 5/09/1983)
04:05 John Lee Hooker
12 It Serves Me Right To Suffer (Live From Berlin, Germany / 5/09/1983)
06:52 John Lee Hooker
13 Boom Boom (Live From Berlin, Germany / 5/09/1983)
04:17 John Lee Hooker
14 Hi-Heel Sneakers (Live From Berlin, Germany / 5/09/1983)
04:07 John Lee Hooker
15 One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer (Live From Berlin, Germany / 5/09/1983)
04:40 John Lee Hooker
Supporto 5
1 I Got Eyes For You
02:39 John Lee Hooker, Eddie Kirkland
2 Mai Lee
03:29 John Lee Hooker, The Groundhogs
3 Peavine
05:00 John Lee Hooker, Canned Heat
4 Never Get Out Of These Blues Alive
10:11 John Lee Hooker, Van Morrison
5 Five Long Years
05:59 John Lee Hooker, Joe Cocker
6 The Healer
05:37 John Lee Hooker, Carlos Santana
7 I'm In The Mood
04:28 John Lee Hooker, Bonnie Raitt
8 Sally Mae
03:15 John Lee Hooker, George Thorogood
9 Mr. Lucky
04:38 John Lee Hooker
10 Up And Down
04:49 John Lee Hooker, Warren Haynes
11 Boom Boom
04:19 John Lee Hooker
12 You Shook Me
04:58 B.B. King, John Lee Hooker
13 Don't Look Back
06:42 John Lee Hooker
14 Dimples
04:00 John Lee Hooker, Los Lobos
15 Boogie Chillen'
04:36 John Lee Hooker, Eric Clapton


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