Saturday, July 31, 2010
Whitney Moore Young Jr. (July 31, 1921 – March 11, 1971) was an American civil rights leader.
He spent most of his career working to end employment discrimination in the United States and turning the National Urban League from a relatively passive civil rights organization into one that aggressively fought for equitable access to socioeconomic opportunity for the historically disenfranchised.
Read an interview with Whitney Young, free from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum.
Friday, July 30, 2010
George "Buddy" Guy (born July 30, 1936) is an American blues guitarist and singer. He is a critically acclaimed artist who has established himself as a pioneer of the Chicago blues sound, and has served as an influence to some of the most notable musicians of his generation. Guy is known, too, for his showmanship on stage, playing his guitar with drumsticks, or strolling into the audience while playing solos. He was ranked thirtieth in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
Born and raised in Lettsworth, Louisiana, Guy began learning guitar on a two string diddley bow he made. Later he was given a Harmony acoustic guitar, that, decades later in Guy's lengthy career was donated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the early '50s he began performing with bands in Baton Rouge. Soon after moving to Chicago in 1957, Guy fell under the influence of Muddy Waters. In 1958, a competition with West Side guitarists Magic Sam and Otis Rush gave Guy a record contract. Soon afterwards he recorded for Cobra Records. He recorded sessions with Junior Wells for Delmark Records under the pseudonym Friendly Chap in 1965 and 1966.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Chester Bomar Himes (July 29, 1909 – November 12, 1984) was a famous African American writer. His works include If He Hollers Let Him Go and a series of Harlem Detective novels. In 1958 he won France's Grand Prix de Littérature Policière; two of his novels were made into feature films: Cotton Comes to Harlem directed by Ossie Davis in 1970 and A Rage in Harlem starring Gregory Hines and Danny Glover in 1991.
Read an interview with Chester Himes.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Charlie Biddle, CM otherwise known as Charles Reed Biddle (July 28, 1926 – February 4, 2003) was a Canadian jazz bassist.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, Biddle lived most of his life in Montreal, Quebec, however he did not become a Canadian citizen until his last years. After completing military duties in the US Armed Forces during World War II, serving in China, India and Burma, he went on to study music at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he started playing bass. In 1948, he arrived in Montreal while touring with Vernon Isaac's Three Jacks and a Jill. Biddle was fascinated by the fact that in Canada, particularly Quebec, you would see black jazz musicians playing alongside white jazz musicians as the best of friends. Impressed with the opened-mindedness of the people of Canada in matters of race, he decided to settle down in Montreal, and fell in love with a French-Canadian woman. The two eventually married and raised three daughters Sonya, Stephanie and Tracy and a son, Charles Biddle Jr.
Read more about Charlie Biddle, free from CTV News.
Jazzmen Harry "Sweets" Edison and
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis at the Village
Jazz Lounge in Walt Disney World
photo by Laura Kolb
Harry "Sweets" Edison (October 10, 1915 – July 27, 1999), born in Columbus, Ohio, was an American jazz trumpeter and member of the Count Basie Orchestra.
He spent his early childhood in Kentucky, where he was introduced to music by an uncle. After moving back to Columbus at the age of 12, the young Edison began playing the trumpet with local bands.
In 1933, he became a member of the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra in Cleveland. Afterwards he played with the Mills Blue Rhythm Band and Lucky Millinder. In 1937 he moved to New York and joined the Count Basie Orchestra. His colleagues included Buck Clayton, Lester Young (who named him "Sweets"), Buddy Tate, Freddie Green, Jo Jones, and other original members of that famous band.
Read more about Henry Edison, free from enotes.com.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Erskine Ramsay Hawkins (July 26, 1914—November 11, 1993) was a trumpet player and big band leader from Birmingham, Alabama, dubbed "The 20th Century Gabriel". He is most remembered for composing the jazz standard "Tuxedo Junction" (1939) with saxophonist and arranger Bill Johnson. The song became a popular hit during World War II, rising to #7 nationally (version by the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra) and to #1 nationally (version by the Glenn Miller Orchestra). Vocalists who were featured with Erskine's orchestra include Ida James, Delores Brown and Della Reese. Hawkins was named after Alabama industrialist Erskine Ramsay.
Read more about Erskine Hawkins, free from the New York Times.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Musically Minded by Kimberly Low
Bubble Jim by Sabina Singh
School Days by Jamie Maxfield
The Tao of Sunday by Idy Tao
John Cornelius "Johnny" Hodges (25 July 1906 in Cambridge, Massachusetts – 11 May 1970) was an American alto saxophonist and lead player of Duke Ellington's saxophone section. He spent 38 years with Ellington, leaving to lead his own band from 1951 to 1955, returning to the fold shortly before Ellington's triumphant return to prominence via the orchestra's performance at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival. Hodges started playing with Lloyd Scott, Sidney Bechet, Lucky Roberts and Chick Webb. When Ellington wanted to expand his band in 1928, Ellington's clarinet player Barney Bigard recommended Hodges, who was featured on both alto and soprano sax. His playing became the identifying voice of the Ellington orchestra.
Read an interview with Johnny Hodges and bandmate Harry Carney.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Charles Spurgeon Johnson (July 24, 1893 – October 27, 1956) was a distinguished American sociologist, first black president of historically black Fisk University, and a lifelong advocate for racial equality and the advancement of civil rights for African Americans and all other ethnic minorities. He preferred to work in coalition with liberal white groups in the South quietly as a "sidelines activist" concerned to get practical results. His position is often contrasted with that of the towering figure in this field, W.E.B. DuBois, who was a powerful and militant advocate for his people and who described Johnson as "too conservative." But this contrast should be seen in the context of the 1930s and 1940s, with complete segregation and fierce discrimination pervading the South. He was angry and unwavering in personal terms in his opposition to this oppressive system yet hoped he had the strategy to significantly change race relations in terms of the short term practical gains.
Read Seasons in Hell: Charles S. Johnson and the 1930 Liberian Labor Crisis, a doctoral thesis by Philip James Johnson, free from Louisiana State University.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Norman W. Lewis (23 July 1909 – 27 August 1979) was an award-winning African-American painter, scholar, and teacher. He is associated with Abstract Expressionism. Lewis was African-American, of Caribbean descent.
Norman W. Lewis was born in Harlem, New York. His parents had emigrated from Bermuda. Always interested in art, he had amassed a large art history library by the time he was a young man. A lifelong resident of Harlem, he also travelled extensively during the two years that he worked on ocean freighters. An important early influence was the sculptor and teacher Augusta Savage, who provided him with open studio space at her Harlem Art Center. He also participated in WPA art projects, alongside Jackson Pollock, among others.
Read an interview with Norman Lewis, free from the Archives of American Art.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Mildred and Richard Loving
Mildred Delores Jeter Loving (July 22, 1939 – May 2, 2008) and her husband Richard Perry Loving (October 29, 1933 – June 29, 1975) were plaintiffs in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia (1967).
The Lovings were an interracial married couple who were criminally charged under a Virginia statute banning such marriages. With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Lovings filed suit seeking to overturn the law. In 1967, the Supreme Court ruled in their favor, striking down the Virginia statute and all state anti-miscegenation laws as unconstitutional violations of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Learn about Loving Day, a group which annually celebrates the outcome of Loving v. Virginia.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Charles Sumner "Chuck" Stone, Jr. (born July 21, 1924) is a former Tuskegee Airman, an American newspaper editor, columnist, and professor of journalism. After completing his service in World War II, Stone already had been admitted to Harvard University but chose to matriculate at Wesleyan University. In the 1940s, he was the first African-American undergraduate in several decades at Wesleyan, graduating in the class of 1948 and serving as the commencement speaker. Stone subsequently received a master's degree in sociology from the University of Chicago.
Learn more about Chuck Stone from Answers.com.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Barney and Betty Hill
From the African-American Registry:
Barney Hill was born on this date in 1922. He was an African-American man who, with his wife, were the first persons reportedly abducted by a UFO.
Hill was born in Newport News, VA, the youngest of four children whose father was a shipyard worker. After the family moved to Philadelphia, Hill graduated from high school, attended Temple University, and enlisted in the Army. He was employed as a postal worker. He married Ruby Horn and they had two children. He later divorced and was remarried, to Betty Hill, white woman. The Hills moved to her hometown of Portsmouth, N.H..
Monday, July 19, 2010
Alice Ruth Moore Dunbar Nelson (July 19, 1875 - September 18, 1935) was an American poet, journalist and political activist. She was one of the prominent African Americans involved in the Harlem Renaissance. Her first husband was the poet Paul Laurence Dunbar; she then married physician Henry A. Callis; and last married Robert J. Nelson, another poet. She was bisexual and her husband Paul Dunbar was reported to have been disturbed by her lesbian affairs.
Read The Goodness of St. Rocque and Other Stories by Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson, one of three of her works available free from Project Gutenberg.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Photo: Jean-Luc Ourlin
Jalacy Hawkins (July 18, 1929, Cleveland, Ohio — February 12, 2000, Paris, France), best known as Screamin' Jay Hawkins was an African-American musician, singer, and actor. Famed chiefly for his powerful, operatic vocal delivery and wildly theatrical performances of songs such as "I Put a Spell on You" and "Constipation Blues", Hawkins sometimes used macabre props onstage, making him the one of few original shock rockers.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Hawkins studied classical piano as a child and learned guitar in his twenties. His original career goal was to become an opera singer in the footsteps of Paul Robeson. When his initial ambitions failed, he began his career as a conventional blues singer and pianist.
Watch Screamin' Jay Hawkins perform "I Put a Spell on You," free from YouTube.com.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Diahann Carroll (born July 17, 1935) is an American Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe- and Tony Award-winning actress and singer.
Carroll was born Carol Diahann Johnson in The Bronx, New York, the daughter of Mabel (née Faulk) and John Johnson. She attended The Fiorello H. LaGuardia H.S. of Music and Art located in 135th St. and St. Nicholas Ave., NYC.,N.Y., along with schoolmate Billy Dee Williams. Her family moved to the Harlem neighborhood of New York City when she was one and a half years old.
Read an interview of Diahann Carroll, by Tavis Smiley, free from pbs.org.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Ida B. Wells was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi to carpenter James Wells and Elizabeth "Lizzie Bell" Warrenton Wells, who were both slaves until freed in 1865. When Wells was fourteen both her parents and her youngest brother of nine months died of yellow fever during an epidemic that swept the southern United States. At a meeting following the funeral, friends and relatives decided that the six remaining Wells children should be farmed out to various aunts and uncles. Wells was devastated by the idea and, to keep the family together, dropped out of high school, and found employment as a teacher in a black school.
Read Ida Wells' The Red Record: Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes of Lynching in the United States, one of three of her works available free from Project Gutenberg.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
From the Maggie L. Walker National Historical Site:
Maggie Lena Mitchell was born in Richmond, Virginia July 15, 1867. Her mother, Elizabeth Draper, was a former slave and assistant cook in the Church Hill mansion of Elizabeth Van Lew, a Civil War spy. Later Elizabeth and her husband William Mitchell moved the family to their own home in an alley between Broad and Marshall streets where Maggie and her brother Johnnie were raised. After the untimely death of William Mitchell, Maggie's mother supported the family by working as a laundress and young Maggie helped by delivering the clean clothes.
Learn more about Maggie L. Walker, free from the National Park Service.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Mary Edmonia Lewis (ca. July 4, 1845 – ca. 1911) was the first African American and Native American woman to gain fame and recognition as a sculptor in the international fine arts world. She was of African American, Haitian and Ojibwe descent.
Early life and education
Her passport reads Mary Edmonia Lewis, born in July 1845 in Albany, New York, although the exact date of her birth is uncertain. Records indicate that she was actually born in Greenbush, New York, which is now the City of Rensselaer. Her inspiration for much of her artwork came from her ethnic background. Lewis' father was Haitian of African descent, while her mother was of Mississauga Ojibwe and African descent. Lewis’ mother was known as an excellent weaver and craftswoman.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Photograph by Stanley Kubrick,
published in "Look" magazine, 6 June, 1950.
George Lewis (13 July 1900 – 31 December 1968) was an American jazz clarinetist who achieved his greatest fame and influence in the later decades of his life.
Born Joseph Louis Francois Zenon, in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, Lewis was playing clarinet professionally by 1917, at the age of seventeen, working with Buddy Petit and Chris Kelly regularly as well as the trombonist Kid Ory and other leaders. At this time, he seldom traveled far from the greater New Orleans area.
During the Great Depression he took a job as a stevedore, continuing to take as many music jobs after hours as he could find, a schedule that often meant he got very little sleep.
Watch George Lewis perform Old Rugged Cross, free from YouTube.com.
Monday, July 12, 2010
photo: Frances Benjamin Johnston,1906.
George Washington Carver was born into slavery during the Civil War, in the midst of bloody guerrilla warfare in Missouri . A tiny, sickly baby, he was soon orphaned, and his very survival beyond infancy was against the laws of nature.
That he, a Negro, became the first and greatest chemurgist, almost single-handedly revolutionized Southern agriculture, and received world acclaim for his contributions to agricultural chemistry was against all accepted patterns. But, seen from today's distance, possibly the most amazing facet of the life of this gentle genius is the manner in which he overcame enormous prejudices and poverty in his struggle from nameless black boy to George Washington Carver, B.S., M.S., D.Sc., Ph.D., Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London, and Director of Research and Experiment at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama -- all without a trace of bitterness, with total indifference to personal fortune, and thought only to make the world, and America in particular, a better place for all mankind.
Read George Washington Carver's own story of his life, free from the George Washington Carver National Monument,
Sunday, July 11, 2010
School Days by Jamie Maxfield
Cement Warfare by Chyna Cunningham
The World's Biggest Jerk by David Jackson
Phillis Wheatley (1753 – December 5, 1784) was the first published African American poet whose writings helped create the genre of African American literature. She was born in Gambia, Africa, and became a slave at age seven. She was purchased by the Boston Wheatley family, who taught her to read and write, and helped encouraged her poetry.
The 1773 publication of Wheatley's Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, brought her fame, with dignitaries such as George Washington praising her work. Wheatley also toured England and was praised in a poem by fellow African American poet Jupiter Hammon. Wheatley was emancipated by her owners after her poetic success, but stayed with the Wheatley family until the death of her former master and the breakup of his family. She then married a free black man, who soon left her. She died in poverty in 1784 while working on a second book of poetry, which has now been lost.
Read Religious and Moral Poems by Phillis Wheatley, free from Project Gutenberg.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Mary McLeod Bethune
Photo by Carl Van Vechten
Mary Jane McLeod Bethune (July 10, 1875--May 18, 1955) was an educator and civil rights leader best known for starting a school for black students in Daytona Beach, Florida that eventually became Bethune-Cookman University. Born in South Carolina to parents who had been slaves, she took an early interest in her own education. With the help of benefactors, Bethune attended college hoping to become a missionary in Africa. When that did not materialize, she started a school for black girls in Daytona Beach. From six students it grew and merged with an institute for black boys and eventually became the Bethune-Cookman School. Its quality far surpassed the standards of education for black students, and rivaled those of white schools. Bethune worked tirelessly to ensure funding for the school, and used it as a showcase for tourists and donors, to exhibit what educated black people could do. She was president of the college from 1923 to 1942 and 1946 to 1947, one of the few women in the world who served as a college president at that time.
Learn more about Mary McLeod Bethune, free from Florida Memory, the state archives of Florida.
Friday, July 09, 2010
Jester Joseph Hairston (July 9, 1901 – January 18, 2000) was an American composer, songwriter, arranger, choral conductor, and actor. He wrote the Christmas song "Mary's Boy Child."
Hairston was born in Belews Creek, a rural community on the border of Stokes, Forsyth, Rockingham and Guilford counties in North Carolina. His grandparents had been slaves. At an early age he and his family moved to Homestead, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh, where he graduated from high school in 1919. Hairston, who gave up studies at Massachusetts Agriculture College in the 1920s, went on to graduate cum laude from Tufts University in 1928 and studied music at the Juilliard School. He worked as a choir conductor in the early stages of his career. His work with choirs on Broadway eventually led to his singing and acting in plays, films, radio programs, and television shows. And, in 1937 was a founding member of the Screen Actors Guild.
Read an interview with Jester Hairston, free from the University of Michigan.
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Gwendolyn B. Bennett (July 8, 1902 – May 30, 1981) was an African American writer who contributed to Opportunity, which chronicled cultural advancements in Harlem. Though often overlooked, she herself made considerable accomplishments in poetry and prose. She is perhaps best known for her short story, "Wedding Day', which was published in the first issue of Fire!!.
Early life and work
Gwendolyn B. Bennett was born July 8, 1902 in Giddings, Texas to Joshua and Maime Bennett. She spent her early childhood in Wadsworth, Nevada on the Paiute Indian Reservation. Her parents taught in the Indian Service for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In 1906, when Bennett was four years old, her family moved to Washington D.C. so Joshua could study law and Maime could train to be a beautician. The move eventually led to her parents' divorce when Bennett was seven years old. Maime gained custody of Bennett, however her father kidnapped her and they lived in hiding, along with her stepmother, Marechal Neil, along the East Coast and Pennsylvania. Her father eventually took them to New York where she attended Brooklyn's Girls' High from 1918 till 1921. While attending Girls' High, Bennett was awarded first place in a school wide art contest, and was the first African American to join the literary and drama societies. She wrote her high school play and was also featured as an actress. She also wrote both the class graduation speech and the words to the graduation song.
Read Gwendolyn Bennett's poems, free from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champain's' Modern American Poetry project.
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Henry (Hank) Mobley (July 7, 1930 – May 30, 1986) was an American hard bop and soul jazz tenor saxophonist and composer. Mobley was described by Leonard Feather as the "middleweight champion of the tenor saxophone", a metaphor used to describe his tone that was neither as aggressive as John Coltrane nor as mellow as Stan Getz. This description suggested to some that Mobley was mediocre. In addition, as his style was laid-back, subtle and melodic, especially in contrast with players like Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, it took connoisseurs until after his demise to fully appreciate his talent. The critic Stacia Proefrock claimed he is "one of the more underrated musicians of the bop era."
Listen to the Hank Mobley Quintet perform Funk in Deep Freeze, via YouTube.com.
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Delloreese Patricia Early (born July 6, 1931) is an American actress, singer, game show panelist of the 1970s, one-time talk-show hostess and ordained minister. She started her career in the 1950s as a gospel, pop and jazz singer, scoring a hit with her 1959 single "Don't You Know?" In her four decades of acting, she later gained a whole new generation of fans, in the 1990s, playing Tess, the leading role on the television show Touched by an Angel. In the late 1960s, she hosted her own talk show, Della, which ran for 297 episodes. In more recent times, she became an ordained New Thought minister in the Understanding Principles for Better Living Church in Los Angeles, California.
Watch a tribute to Della Reese on Youtube.
Monday, July 05, 2010
Myles Horton (July 5, 1905 - January 19, 1990) was an American educator, socialist and cofounder of the Highlander Folk School, famous for its role in the Civil Rights Movement (Movement leader James Bevel called Horton "The Father of the Civil Rights Movement"). Horton taught and heavily influenced most of the era's leaders. They included Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks (who studied with Horton shortly before her decision to keep her seat on the Montgomery, Alabama bus in 1955), John Lewis, James Bevel, Bernard Lafayette, Ralph Abernathy, John B. Thompson, and many others.
Visit the website of Highlander Research and Education Center.
Sunday, July 04, 2010
Arthur George Gaston (July 4, 1892 – January 19, 1996) was an African-American businessman who established a number of businesses in Birmingham, Alabama and who played a significant role in the struggle to integrate Birmingham in 1963.
Born in a log cabin in Demopolis, Alabama, to Tom and Rosa McDonald Gaston, but he grew up in his grandparents home, Joe and Idella Gaston. He moved to Birmingham in 1905 with the Loveman family, who employed his mother as a cook. He served in the army in France in World War I, then went to work in the mines run by Tennessee Coal & Iron Co. in Fairfield, Alabama. He hit on the plan of selling lunches to his fellow miners, then branched into loaning money to them at twenty-five percent interest. While still working at the mine he began offering burial insurance to co-workers and to the community Smith&Gaston.
Read David T. Beito's review of Black Titan: A. G. Gaston and the Making of a Black Millionaire by Carol Jenkins and Elizabeth Gardner Hines, free from the Independent Institute.
Saturday, July 03, 2010
SAN FRANCISCO — President Barack Obama on Saturday outlined plans to ramp up the number of clean-energy jobs in the U.S., with his administration's goal fueled in part by roughly $2 billion in new conditional commitments to two solar companies.
Abengoa SA was offered a $1.45 billion loan guarantee by the U.S. Department of Energy to build a 250-megawatt solar plant in Arizona, and Abound Solar Manufacturing was offered a $400 million loan guarantee toward two plants where thin-solar panels will be manufactured.
The guarantees through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and other measures are expected by the awardees to create more than 5,000 jobs, according to a statement from the White House.
Fontella Bass (born July 3, 1940, St. Louis, Missouri) is an American soul singer, who is best known for the 1965 R&B hit "Rescue Me", which she also co-wrote.
The daughter of gospel singer Martha Bass (a member of the Clara Ward Singers), Bass showed great musical talent at an early age – at five years old she was providing the piano accompaniment for her grandmother's singing at funeral services, she was singing in her church's choir at six years old and by the time she was nine she was accompanying her mother on tours throughout the American South and Southwest.
Watch Fontella Bass perform "Rescue Me," free from YouTube.com.
Friday, July 02, 2010
Thurgood Marshall (July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993) was an American jurist and the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. Before becoming a judge, he was a lawyer who was best remembered for his high success rate in arguing before the Supreme Court and for the victory in Brown v. Board of Education. He was nominated to the court by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967.
On November 30, 1993, Justice Marshall was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.
Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland on July 2, 1908, the great-grandson of a slave. His original name was Thoroughgood, but he shortened it to Thurgood in second grade because he disliked spelling it. His father, William Marshall, who was a railroad porter, instilled in him an appreciation for the Constitution of the United States and the rule of law. Additionally, as a child in Baltimore, he was punished for school misbehavior by being forced to write copies of the Constitution, which he later said piqued his interest in the document.
Watch Thurgood Marshall: Justice for All, free from Hulu.com for a limited time.
Thursday, July 01, 2010
William James "Willie" Dixon (July 1, 1915 – January 29, 1992) was an American blues musician, vocalist, songwriter, arranger and record producer. A Grammy Award winner who was proficient on both the Upright bass and the guitar, as well as his own singing voice, Dixon is arguably best known as an acclaimed, prolific songwriter, and one of the founders of the Chicago blues sound. His songs have been recorded not only by himself, or that of the trio and other ensembles in which he participated, but an uncounted number of musicians representing many genres between them. A short list of his most famous compositions include "Little Red Rooster", "Hoochie Coochie Man", "Evil", "Spoonful", "Back Door Man", "I Just Want to Make Love to You", "I Ain't Superstitious", "My Babe", "Wang Dang Doodle", and "Bring It On Home". They were written during the peak of Chess Records, 1950–1965, and performed by Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Little Walter, influencing a worldwide generation of musicians. Next to Muddy Waters, he was the most influential person in shaping the post World War II sound of the Chicago blues. He also was an important link between the blues and rock and roll, working with Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley in the late 1950s. His songs were covered by some of the biggest artists of more recent times, including Bob Dylan, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Foghat, The Yardbirds, The Rolling Stones, Queen, The Doors, The Allman Brothers Band, the Grateful Dead, and a posthumous duet with Colin James.
Watch Willie Dixon perform, free from YouTube.com.