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Encyclopedia > Little Walter
Little Walter
Image:73901.jpg
A Chess Records collection featuring Little Walter playing his harmonica
Background information
Birth name Marion Walter Jacobs
Born May 1, 1930(1930-05-01)
Origin Marksville, Louisiana
Died February 15, 1968 (aged 37)
Genre(s) Blues
Instrument(s) Vocals
Harmonica
Guitar
Years active 1945 - 1968
Label(s) Ora-Nelle, Checker
Website http://www.littlewalter.net

Little Walter (born Marion Walter Jacobs) (May 1, 1930 - February 15, 1968) was a blues singer, harmonica player, and guitarist. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... The Chess Records logo, as featured on this Memphis Slim single. ... A harmonica is a free reed wind instrument. ... is the 121st day of the year (122nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1930 (MCMXXX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display 1930 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Marksville is a city located in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana. ... is the 46th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Blues is a vocal and instrumental musical form which evolved from African American spirituals, shouts, work songs and chants and has its earliest stylistic roots in West Africa. ... A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. ... In music a singer or vocalist is a type of musician who sings, i. ... A harmonica is a free reed wind instrument. ... For other uses, see Guitar (disambiguation). ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... In the music industry, a record label is a brand and a trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. ... Checker Records was started in 1952 as the gospel subsidiary of Chess Records. ... is the 121st day of the year (122nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1930 (MCMXXX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display 1930 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 46th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Blues music redirects here. ... A harmonica is a free reed wind instrument. ... For the UK magazine, see Guitarist (magazine). ...


Jacobs is generally included among blues music greats: his revolutionary harmonica technique has earned comparisons to Charlie Parker and Jimi Hendrix[1] in its impact: There were great musicians before and after, but Jacobs' virtuosity and musical innovations reached heights of expression never previously imagined, and fundamentally altered many listeners' expectations of what was possible on blues harmonica. [2] [3] Blues is a vocal and instrumental musical form which evolved from African American spirituals, shouts, work songs and chants and has its earliest stylistic roots in West Africa. ... A harmonica is a free reed wind instrument. ... Charles Bird Parker, Jr. ... Jimi Hendrix (November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American guitar virtuoso, singer and songwriter. ...

Contents

Biography

Early years

After quitting school at the age of 12, Jacobs left Louisiana and travelled wherever he chose, working odd jobs, busking on the streets of New Orleans, Memphis, Helena, AR, and St. Louis, and honing his musical skills with Sonny Boy Williamson and Big Bill Broonzy, among others. This article is about the U.S. State. ... There were 2 popular blues harmonica players that went by the name Sonny Boy Williamson Sonny Boy Williamson I, also known as John Lee Williamson was an American blues harmonica player, born in Jackson, Tennessee, whose first record Good Morning, School Girl was a hit in 1937. ... Big Bill Broonzy (1893 or 1898-1958) was a prolific United States composer, recorder and performer of blues songs. ...


Arriving in Chicago in 1945, he occasionally found work as a guitarist but garnered more attention for his already highly developed harmonica work. (According to fellow Chicago bluesman Floyd Jones, Little Walter's first recording was an unreleased demo on which Walter played guitar backing Jones.)[4] Jacobs grew frustrated having his harmonica drowned out by electric guitarists, and adopted a simple, but previously little-used method: He cupped a small microphone in his hands while he played harmonica, and plugged the microphone into a guitar or public address amplifier. He could thus compete with any guitarist's volume. Unlike other contemporary blues harp players, such as the original Sonny Boy Williamson and Snooky Pryor, who used this method only for added volume, Little Walter used amplification to explore radical new timbres and sonic effects previously unheard from a harmonica[citation needed]. Madison Deniro wrote a small biographical piece on Little Walter stating that "He was the first musician of any kind to purposely use electronic distortion."[5] Nickname: Motto: Urbs in Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location in the Chicago metro area and Illinois Coordinates: , Country State Counties Cook, DuPage Settled 1770s Incorporated March 4, 1837 Government  - Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) Area  - City 234. ... An electric guitar An electric guitar is a type of guitar that uses pickups to convert the vibration of its steel-cored strings into electrical current, which is then amplified. ... For the British rock band of the same name, see Amplifier (band). ... John Lee Williamson (March 30, 1914- June 1, 1948) was an American blues harmonica player and the first to use the name Sonny Boy Williamson. ... Snooky Pryor, born James Edward Pryor on September 15, 1921 in Lambert, Mississippi, pioneered the thicker, amplified sound of blues harmonica. ... In music, timbre, or sometimes timber, (from Fr. ...


Success

Little Walter made his first released recordings in 1947 for the tiny Ora-Nelle label in Chicago. These and several other early recordings, like many blues harp recordings of the era, owed a strong stylistic debt to pioneering blues harmonica player John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson (AKA Sonny Boy Williamson I). Little Walter joined Muddy Waters' band in 1948, and by 1950 he was playing on Muddy's recordings for Chess Records; Little Walter's harmonica is featured on most of Muddy's classic recordings from the 1950s. He also recorded as a guitarist for the small Parkway label, as well as on a session for Chess backing pianist Eddie Ware, and occasionally on early sessions with Muddy Waters. John Lee Williamson (March 30, 1914- June 1, 1948) was an American blues harmonica player and the first to use the name Sonny Boy Williamson. ... McKinley Morganfield (April 4, 1915 – April 30, 1983), better known as Muddy Waters, was an American blues musician and is generally considered the Father of Chicago blues. He is also the actual father of blues musician Big Bill Morganfield. ... Year 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Chess Records logo, as featured on this Memphis Slim single. ...


Jacobs' own career took off when he recorded as a bandleader for Chess' subsidiary label Checker Records in 1952; the first completed take of the first song attempted at his very first session was massive hit, spending eight weeks in the #1 position on the Billboard magazine R&B charts - the song was "Juke", and it was the first harmonica instrumental ever to become a hit on the R&B charts. (Three other harmonica instrumentals by Little Walter also reached the Billboard R&B top 10: "Off the Wall" reached #8, "Roller Coaster" achieved #6, and "Sad Hours" reached the #2 position while Juke was still on the charts.) "Juke" was the biggest hit to date for Chess and its affiliated labels, and secured Walter's position on the Chess artist roster for the next decade. Little Walter scored an impressive fourteen top-ten hits on the R&B charts between 1952 and 1958, including two #1 hits (the second being "My Babe" in 1955), a feat never acheived by his former boss Muddy, nor by his fellow Chess blues artists Howling Wolf and Rice "Sonny Boy Willimason" Miller. A lot of these Little Walter's numbers were originals which he or Chess A&R man Willie Dixon wrote. In general his sound was more modern and uptempo than the popular Chicago blues of the day, with a jazzier feel than other contemporary blues harmonica players. In 1953 he blows the harp with Elmore James and John Brim in some tracks on the Chess album "Whose Muddy Shoes". Billboard is a weekly American magazine devoted to the music industry. ... Juke can refer to: Little Walters famous harmonica instrumental Jukes and Kallikaks Juke joint Jukebox This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ... Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, formerly known as Top Soul Singles, Top Black Singles, and Top R&B Singles (before the hip-hop term was added in the late 1990s), is a chart released weekly by Billboard in the United States. ... Rhythm and blues (or R & B) is a musical marketing term introduced in the United States in the late 1940s by Billboard magazine. ... Howlin Wolf ( b. ... Willie Dixons style of blues was one of the inspirations for a new generation of music, rock and roll. ...


Death

Jacobs suffered from alcoholism, and had a notoriously short temper, which led to a decline in his fame and fortunes in the 1960s, although he did tour Europe twice, in 1964 and 1967. (The long-circulated story that he toured England with The Rolling Stones in 1964 has since been refuted.) The 1967 European tour, as part of the American Folk Blues Festival, resulted in the only known film/video footage of Little Walter performing that is currently known to exist, when he backed Hound Dog Taylor and Koko Taylor on a TV program in Denmark. (Other TV appearances in Germany, England and The Netherlands have been documented, but no footage of these has been found.) He died of injuries sustained in a fight a few months after returning from his second European tour. Alcoholism is the consumption of, or preoccupation with, alcoholic beverages to the extent that this behavior interferes with the drinkers normal personal, family, social, or work life, and may lead to physical or mental harm. ... Rolling Stones redirects here. ...


His legacy has been enormous: he is widely credited by blues historians as the artist primariliy responsible for establishing the standard vocabulary for modern blues and blues rock harmonica players. [6] [7] - His influence can be heard in virtually every modern blues harp player who came along in his wake, from blues greats such as Junior Wells, James Cotton, George "Harmonica" Smith, Carey Bell, and Big Walter Horton, through modern-day masters Kim Wilson, Rod Piazza, William Clarke, and Charlie Musselwhite, in addition to blues-rock crossover artists such as Paul Butterfield and John Popper of Blues Traveler. Blues music redirects here. ... Blues-rock is a hybrid musical genre combining elements of the blues with rock and roll, with an emphasis on the electric guitar. ... Junior Wells (December 9, 1934 – January 15, 1998), born Amos Blakemore, was a blues vocalist and harmonica player based in Chicago who was famous for playing with Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Magic Sam, Lonnie Brooks, The Rolling Stones and Van Morrison. ... James Jimmy Cotton (born July 1, 1935 in Tunica, Mississippi), is an American blues harmonica player, singer, and songwriter who is the bandleader for the James Cotton Blues Band. ... George harmonica Smith George Harmonica Smith (22 April 1924 – 2 October 1983) (born Allen George Smith) was an American blues harmonica player. ... Carey Bell (November 14, 1936 - May 6, 2007) was an American musician who played the harmonica in the musical style of Chicago blues. ... Big Walter Horton or Walter Shakey Horton (April 6, 1917– December 8, 1981) was an American blues harmonica player. ... Kim Wilson is a blues singer and harmonica player. ... Rod Piazza (born November 18, 1947 in Riverside, California is a blues harmonica player, singer and band leader. ... Sir William Clarke (died 1666) was an English politician. ... Cover of Charlie Musselwhites Stand Back album Charlie Musselwhite (born January 31, 1944 in Kosciusko, Mississippi) is an American blues harp (harmonica) player and band leader, one of the white bluesmen who came to prominence in the early 1960s, along with Mike Bloomfield and Paul Butterfield. ... Paul Butterfield (December 17, 1942 – May 4, 1987) was an American blues harmonica player and singer, and one of the earliest white exponents of the Chicago-originated electric blues style. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Blues Traveler is an American alternative rock/blues rock/jam band formed in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1983. ...



His 1952 instrumental Juke was selected as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. Year 1952 (MCMLII) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Juke can refer to: Little Walters famous harmonica instrumental Jukes and Kallikaks Juke joint Jukebox This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ... The Rock and Roll Hall of Fames 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll is based on the permanent exhibit of the same name. ...


The jazz-funk supergroup Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood included a composition entitled "Little Walter Rides Again" inspired by Jacobs on their 2006 CD "Out Louder". Medeski Martin & Wood (or MMW) is a US jazz trio originally formed in 1991, consisting of John Medeski on keyboards, Billy Martin on drums and percussion, and Chris Wood on double bass and bass guitar. ...


Discography

Albums

  • Best Of Little Walter
  • Best of Little Walter Vol. 2
  • Confessin' The Blues
  • Hate To See You Go
  • Boss Blues Harmonica
  • Little Walter and Otis Rush "Live in Chicago"
  • The Essential Little Walter
  • Blues With A Feeling - Chess Collectables Vol. 3

Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... Best Of Little Walter is an album by blues musician Little Walter. ... Live in Chicago is a major historical document of two of the major blues figures performing at the height of their power. ...

References

  1. ^ Glover, Gaines & Dirks "Blues With A Feeling - The Little Walter Story", Routledge Press, 2002
  2. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:e1uf6jah71e0~T1
  3. ^ http://www.oafb.net/once129.html
  4. ^ O'Brien, J: "The Dark Road of Floyd Jones" Living Blues #58, 1983
  5. ^ Biography retrieved 14th September 2007
  6. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:e1uf6jah71e0~T1
  7. ^ http://www.oafb.net/once129.html

Living Blues, the journal of the African-American blues tradition, is Americas oldest and most authoritative blues periodical. ...

External links

  • Little Walter website
  • [1]
  • Noted blues scholar Pete Welding's profile of Little Walter used in liner notes to the album "Boss Blues Harmonica"
  • [2]
  • 1980 Blues Foundation Hall of Fame induction

  Results from FactBites:
 
Blues Online© Little Walter (690 words)
Little Walter, born Walter Marion Jacobs on May 1, 1930 in Marksville, Louisiana, taught himself harmonica age at the age of 8.
Walter's innovative playing and distinctive sound from his amplified harmonica contributed heavily to making Muddy's recordings of the early 1950's the magnificent achievements they still are.
Walter died on February 15, 1968 in Chicago at the age of 37 as a result of head injuries sustained in a street fight.
WGBH | Little Walter (427 words)
Little Walter was born Walter Jacobs on May 1, 1930, in Marksville, La. A young virtuoso of the blues who began playing with Muddy Waters's band before the age of 20, Walter can be defined as one of the original modernist bluesmen — his playing style owing nothing to tradition and everything to innovation.
In contrast to his abundant musical artistry, Little Walter was one tough character whose facial scars and missing teeth betrayed his no-nonsense attitude toward those who got in his way or challenged his authority.
Walter lives on in the music of any harmonica player who tries to bend a note and play the blues, many of whom worship the man for his brash approach to the instrument that so changed the sound of American music.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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