This is the sixth installment of this category featuring recordings of outstanding performances by noteworthy guitarists – or outstanding guitarists giving noteworthy performances.
So, Ladies and gentlemen! Let me introduce to you…
“Woke Up With The Blues In My Fingers” by Lonnie Johnson.
Give a listen. (You’ll be glad you did!)
Lonnie Johnson recorded that piece for OKeh Records on May 1, 1927.
I discovered it on an album I bought many years ago at the Tower Records (Remember Tower Records?!?) that used to dominate the corner of Newbury Street and Mass Avenue in Boston, Massachusetts.
That album was released on the Origin Jazz Library label in 1980. It was produced by Lawrence Cohn.
Alonzo “Lonnie” Johnson was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 8, in either 1889, 1894 or 1899. (His passport said 1894.) He passed away on June 16, 1970 in Toronto, Canada.
His recording career began in 1925 after winning first prize for eight weeks in a row in a Blues contest sponsored by OKeh Records at the Booker T. Washington Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri.
Music journalist Pete Welding proclaims Lonnie Johnson to be “…one of the greatest, most accomplished, and most widely influential of all Blues performers.”
Fellow Blues musician Johnny Shines claimed that his friend Robert Johnson admired Lonnie’s music so much that Robert “…would tell people he was one of the Johnson boys from Texas. He’d give people the impression that he was from Texas and was related to Lonnie Johnson.”
If you enjoyed “Woke Up With The Blues In My Fingers,” Lonnie Johnson left an extensive legacy of equally brilliant recordings. (He was a fabulous vocalist, too!) They are well worth searching out!