In this Book

The Original Guitar Hero and the Power of Music
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 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. It 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. Distribution of an accompanying music CD will be coordinated with the release of this book.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Title Page, Frontispiece, Copyright, Dedication
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. viii-viii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xiii-xviii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 1. The Legendary Lonnie Johnson—One of the Most Important Musicians of the 20th Century; Musicians and Progress on Civil Rights
  2. pp. 1-21
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 2. New Orleans Music
  2. pp. 22-54
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 3. St. Louis Blues: St. Louis, the Forgotten Major Music City, and the Blues
  2. pp. 55-80
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 4. Playing with the Strings, Part 1
  2. pp. 81-122
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 5. Playing with the Strings, Part 2
  2. pp. 123-161
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 6. Workin’ Man; Chicago Blues: Philadelphia, New York City, and Cleveland; No More Records Now
  2. pp. 162-195
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 7. Rhythm & Blues
  2. pp. 196-215
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 8. Blues Revival in the ’60s: Comeback Again
  2. pp. 216-253
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 9. The Legacy of Lonnie J: The Guitar in 20th Century Music
  2. pp. 254-306
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Appendix I. The Legendary Lonnie J: Song in tribute to Lonnie Johnson by Dean Alger
  2. pp. 307-307
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Appendix II. Blues, Jazz, and Their Significance: Musicians and Civil Rights
  2. pp. 308-323
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Appendix III. Guide to Recordings by Lonnie Johnson and Relevant Others
  2. pp. 324-327
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 328-351
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 352-357
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Subject Index
  2. pp. 358-363
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Song Index
  2. pp. 364-365
  3. restricted access Download |
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.