T-Bone Walker

T -Bone Walker, actually Aaron Thibeaux Walker ( born May 28, 1910 in Linden, Texas, † March 16, 1975 in Los Angeles ), American blues guitarist, singer and songwriter who was one of the most influential blues musicians of the 20th century and a pioneer of the electrical guitar. He was African-American and Cherokee ancestry.


Walker was born in Linden and grew up in Dallas. There he learned to play as a child, banjo, fiddle and guitar. In reference to his middle name Thibeaux he soon received the nickname "T -Bone ". In Dallas Walker met the blind guitarist Blind Lemon Jefferson, with whom he moved as a kind of blind guide through the streets of Dallas and was collecting the money that Jefferson grossed at performances. Through him, influenced, Walker joined with 15 years even as blues singer and dancer, and learned early by spectacular live deposits ( such as the banjo - playing in the jumping and dancing ) to fascinate the public. 1929 Walker did not take his first record Wichita Falls Blues / Trinity River Blues (Columbia Records) on, but under his own name, but as " Oak Cliff T -Bone ." The mid-1930s he played in the band of Chester Boone Territory and met in Oklahoma City to Charlie Christian.

In 1936 Walker to Los Angeles and began his career as a dancer in California. In 1939 he was hired by Les Hite for the band " Les Hite Cotton Club Orchestra" as a singer. From now on, Walker began to focus more and more on the guitar. So he built this more and more often in his singing, until it was finally as a guitarist in demand than as a singer. He bribed by his artistic -looking stage deposits, where he played on his knees and the guitar behind his back.

1942, now Walker had moved to Chicago because of better sources of income, he took the newly created Capitol label on his first solo record. He published I Got a Break Baby / Mean Old World, where he was popular music and the blues on his now electrically amplified jazz guitar, sparking a revolution in playing the blues.

Legendary is the production of T -Bone Walker Call it Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just As Bad ) for the Black & White label (# 122) on September 13, 1947 was in Los Angeles with producer Ralph Bass. When recording worked with: Aaron "T -Bone " Walker (vocals / guitar), John "Teddy" Buckner (trumpet ), Hubert "Bumps " Myers ( tenor saxophone), Lloyd Glenn ( piano ), Arthur Edwards ( bass) and Oscar Lee Bradley (drums). The title reached a fifth of the R & B charts and is considered not only as one of the most influential songs in music history, but also in the history of the guitar. More classics followed, such as the T -Bone Shuffle.

Despite these successes, Walker was never the teenage crowd, such as at this time Chuck Berry or Fats Domino, achieve, but played mostly in nightclubs, until he collapsed in 1955 due to stomach problems and had to undergo surgery.

In the 60s, Walker became internationally known when he was hired in 1962 by Horst Lippmann organized for the American Folk Blues Festival in Europe and performed with, among others, Memphis Slim, however, inhibited by his health.

During his career, the musician Teddy Buckner escorted him (trumpet ), Lloyd Glenn (piano), Billy Hadnott (bass) and Jack McVea (saxophone).

1971 Walker won a Grammy Award for the plate Good Feelin ' ( Polygram Records 1969). At the American Folk Blues Festival in 1972, he played with Big Mama Thornton. These concerts were to be the last performances of the two in Europe. 1973 produced Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller with him and musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, Herbie Mann, David " Fathhead " Newman a belated tribute to the great blues singer and guitarist Walker ( "very rare", 2 LPs, Reprise Records ). There, T-Bone Walker also told that his mother was a Cherokee and how he got his nickname.


T -Bone Walker died in 1975 of a stroke and was interred in the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, near Los Angeles. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame posthumously in 1980.

Later guitarists, including Chuck Berry and Jimi Hendrix, took over Walker parts of his spectacular performances. Also the game in artistic -looking postures (on the knees, instrument played behind the head, etc. ) Walkers is attributed to influence.

Discography (selection)