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The original guitar hero and the power of music : the legendary Lonnie Johnson, music, and civil rights

Author: Dean Alger
Publisher: Denton, Texas : University of North Texas Press, 2014.
Series: North Texas lives of musicians series, no. 8.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Lonnie Johnson (1894-1970) was a virtuoso guitarist who influenced generations of musicians from Django Reinhardt to Eric Clapton to Bill Wyman and especially B.B. King. Born in New Orleans, he began playing violin and guitar in his father's band at an early age. When most of his family was wiped out by the 1918 flu epidemic, he and his surviving brother moved to St. Louis, where he won a blues contest that included  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
Named Person: Lonnie Johnson; Lonnie Johnson; Lonnie Johnson
Material Type: Biography, Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Dean Alger
ISBN: 9781574415469 1574415468 9781574415568 1574415565
OCLC Number: 866766755
Description: xvii, 365 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Contents: The legendary Lonnie Johnson, one of the most important musicians of the 20th century : musicians and progress on civil rights --
New Orleans music --
St. Louis blues --
Playing with the strings : part 1 --
Playing with the strings : part 2 --
Workin' man : Chicago blues --
Rhythm & blues --
Blues revival in the '60s : comeback again --
The legacy of Lonnie J : the guitar in 20th century music --
Appendix 1 : Lyrics to Alger tribute song : "The legendary Lonnie J" --
Appendix 2 : Blues, jazz, and their significance; musicians and civil rights and Alger's review of Sidney Bechet's instrumental recording of "Strange fruit" --
Appendix 3 : Guide to recordings / Lonnie Johnson and relevant others.
Series Title: North Texas lives of musicians series, no. 8.
Responsibility: Dean Alger.

Abstract:

Lonnie Johnson (1894-1970) was a virtuoso guitarist who influenced generations of musicians from Django Reinhardt to Eric Clapton to Bill Wyman and especially B.B. King. Born in New Orleans, he began playing violin and guitar in his father's band at an early age. When most of his family was wiped out by the 1918 flu epidemic, he and his surviving brother moved to St. Louis, where he won a blues contest that included a recording contract. His career was launched. Johnson can be heard on many Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong records, including the latter's famous "Savoy Blues" with the Hot Five. He is perhaps best known for his 12-string guitar solos and his ground-breaking recordings with the white guitarist Eddie Lang in the late 1920s. After World War II he began playing rhythm and blues and continued to record and tour until his death. This is the first full-length work on Johnson. Dean Alger answers many biographical mysteries, including how many members of Johnson's large family were left after the epidemic. He also places Johnson and his musical contemporaries in the context of American race relations and argues for the importance of music in the fight for civil rights. Finally, Alger analyzes Johnson's major recordings in terms of technique and style.

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"Author Alger comes through with a long-needed biography of the great Lonnie Johnson, firmly cementing his place in jazz and blues history. And as a guitarist as well, Alger is adept at analyzing Read more...

 
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