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Author Topic: The Influence of Lonnie Johnson  (Read 10414 times)

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Offline MTJ3

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Re: The Influence of Lonnie Johnson
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2006, 08:11:43 PM »
"Lonnie Johnson had a different style of playing a guitar--we called his style 'thumping a guitar.'?Texas Alexander plays something like him."  Big Bill Blues, p. 118.

Online Johnm

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Re: The Influence of Lonnie Johnson
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2006, 11:26:06 AM »
What a great quote, MTJ3!  I would go so far as to say that on occasion Texas Alexander played so much like Lonnie Johnson that his playing sounded exactly like Lonnie's.  I wonder how many other listeners to Texas Alexander's recordings attributed his accompanists' playing to him?  Probably quite a few.
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Johnm

Offline Rambler

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Re: The Influence of Lonnie Johnson
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2008, 02:21:03 PM »
Was listening to Lonnie Johnson last night and got to wondering if he had any influence on T-Bone Walker.  Bone's runs certainly sound more like LJ (to my ears) than Blind Lemon. Any thoughts?

mikeguthro

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Re: The Influence of Lonnie Johnson
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2008, 04:44:24 PM »
I was a huge fan of Django Reinhardt for several years before I first heard Lonnie Johnson at which point I became convinced that one of Django's main influences must have been Lonnie. Though less obvious to my ears, I hear both Lonnie and Django as important influences in the style Les Paul developed in the 1940's.

Offline Slack

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Re: The Influence of Lonnie Johnson
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2008, 08:20:19 PM »
I know it cannot be, but T-Bone Walker sounds like a complete original to me.  I know hung around Blind Lemon -- but it beats all if I can hear the influence.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: The Influence of Lonnie Johnson
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2008, 09:34:35 AM »
I feel certain that somewhere here I posted a 1947 interview with T-Bone in which he raved about Lonnie J but ain't got the time to search.

LATER EDIT: I hadn't posted it but have now done so under "Books & Articles" D-u-h.....
« Last Edit: May 06, 2008, 12:32:27 PM by Bunker Hill »

tommersl

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Re: The Influence of Lonnie Johnson
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2008, 02:34:14 PM »
Blind Blake had a few Lonnie Johnson infected songs, Guitar Chimes and Rope Streching Blues. Also Blind Willie McTell's Experience Blues adn Painful Blues,Teddy Darby and Clifford Gibson as well. Robert Johnson and many others thinking of it.

Offline jostber

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Re: The Influence of Lonnie Johnson
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2008, 02:39:53 PM »
Here is a long article by James Sallis on Lonnie Johnson:

http://www.grasslimb.com/sallis/lonnie.html



Offline Rambler

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Re: The Influence of Lonnie Johnson
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2008, 01:09:28 PM »
Jostber: great article on LJ. Thanks for the link, and to everyone else who chimed in. J

Offline doctorpep

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Re: The Influence of Lonnie Johnson
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2008, 09:58:49 PM »
Wow! That was an excellent article. Lonnie Johnson was truly amazing! How could his brother have been better than him? It may be that Lonnie Johnson has more first-rate recordings than any other Bluesman in history. I never knew he and Bessie Smith were an item. I also didn't know that Kokomo Arnold played up north. Interesting read!
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Cooljack

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Re: The Influence of Lonnie Johnson
« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2008, 01:57:40 AM »
I can definatly hear the influence on Buddy moss, the intro to "Some Lonesome Day (14065-1)" sounds extremely similar to the intro to "Section Gang Blues"

Offline Coyote Slim

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Re: The Influence of Lonnie Johnson
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2008, 10:31:43 AM »
I was listening to the Testament CD "Robert Nighthawk and Houston Stackhouse" last night and I realized that one of the tunes Nighthawk plays (recorded in 1964) is definitely a Lonnie Johnson cover and another tune has all the earmarks of one though I've never heard the original Johnson tune.  They are "Merry Christmas Baby" -- which Lonnie Johnson recorded in 1947 as "Happy New Year, Darling" and "Crowing Rooster Blues."    Nighthawk deftly plays all the Lonnie Johnson licks and changes, though of course the effect is a little different because of the backing guitar played by Johnny Young and harmonica by John Wrencher.
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Offline jharris

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Re: The Influence of Lonnie Johnson
« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2008, 02:19:51 PM »
Nighthawk's "Merry Christmas Baby" is indeed modeled on "Happy New Year, Darling" although Nighthawk omits all of the war time context of Lonnie's song:

Christmas Eve morning, baby I was on my way back home to you (2x)
It was your love that kept me fighting, kept me safe the whole war through

It seems a long, long time since I been fightin' the Japs 'cross the deep blue sea (2x)
Yes, that?s why I?m so glad darling, to have a little wife love still waitin' for me

It?s so great to have you darlin', to have a little wife like you (2x)
My three brothers couldn?t make it, but they say happy new year to you


Lonnie did an electrified version of "Crowing Rooster" in 1947 titled "Working Man?s Blues."

-Jeff H.

Online Johnm

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Re: The Influence of Lonnie Johnson
« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2010, 10:06:30 PM »
Hi all,
I discovered a player utilizing Lonnie Johnson's most famous signature lick today who would definitely not been one of my prime candidates for having been influenced by Lonnie Johnson:  Honeyboy Edwards.  Honeyboy's song "Roamin' And Ramblin' Blues", which can be found on the JSP set "Big Joe Williams and the Stars of Mississippi Blues", was played out of C position in standard tuning, capoed up, but as has been noted earlier in this thread, Lonnie's musical influence is unusual in that his imitators transferred his ideas to keys other than the one he played them in.  Honeyboy plays the famous run in C with alacrity (as he played everything back then) and the run actually sits much more awkwardly there than it did in D where Lonnie played it. 
Lonnie Johnson really was hugely influential, to the extent that I think many players who ended up utilizing his ideas got the ideas not from Lonnie's own playing, but from intermediaries who had incorporated some of Lonnie's sound into their own.
All best,
Johnm

Online Johnm

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Re: The Influence of Lonnie Johnson
« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2011, 07:55:30 AM »
Hi all,
I was listening to Blind Boy Fuller looking for Lemon-influenced tunes and came across "You Never Can Tell", on which he plays Lonnie Johnson's signature lick over and over, albeit in C.  More Lemonisms to follow.
All best,
Johnm

 


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