Most Innovative, Original Post-War Blues

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Muddy, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. Muddy

    Muddy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    New York
    I'm working on a compilation of ground-breaking blues songs...the original versions that set the course for subsequent blues, rock and pop tunes. The pre-War era was relatively easy, but I'm having some difficulty with the post-War era. Outside of Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson II and a few others, it seems the lion's share of innovative songs were either jump tunes (Louis Jordan) or early rock 'n' roll (Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry) numbers.

    I'm guessing much of this has to do with the dearth of blues recordings during WWII, and the subsequent rise of the big bands, but I'm not discounting that I may be overlooking some important tracks. Making the task even more difficult is that I'm only looking for "original" versions (never an easy task when it comes to blues). That means something like Muddy Waters' "Rollin' and Tumblin'" wouldn't be acceptable, but "I Can't Be Satisfied" would be.

    So, I'm turning to the experts here: What would you say were the most important, original post-War blues songs?
  2. lightbulb

    lightbulb Not the Brightest of the Bunch

    Smogville CA USA
    How about Jimmy Reed?

    I love his “Baby What You Want Me To Do” , and “Bright Lights Big City”.

    Compared to Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, etc I feel that it seems he’s overlooked.

    Honest, I Do.

  3. Muddy

    Muddy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    New York
    Good call!

    Tough choice, too. Which one would you go with:

    "Baby, What You Want Me to Do," "Ain't That Loving You Baby" or "You Don't Have to Go"?
  4. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    Can’t go wrong with Baby...
  5. lightbulb

    lightbulb Not the Brightest of the Bunch

    Smogville CA USA
    Baby What You Want Me To Do is my choice.
  6. Panama Hotel

    Panama Hotel Forum Resident

    Given the conditions that you've set- that the songwriter have the hit- this question turns out to be tougher than it would seem on first notice.

    Most of Albert King's best tunes were written by someone else, but he may have some originals that qualify.

    I'm not sure that B. B. King ever wrote any of his own classic hits.

    With Willie Dixon, the converse is true: he wrote a ton of classic postwar-era blues songs, but the hit performances belong to someone else.

    Furthermore, many of the tunes I associate with postwar blues artists have been covered over and over again. I didn't realize that Jimmy Rushing's "Going To Chicago Blues" goes all the way back to 1941, and Count Basie.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
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  7. davmar77

    davmar77 I'd rather be drummin'...

    clifton park,ny
    Some of the earliest professor longhair recordings might qualify.
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  8. lucan_g

    lucan_g Forum Resident

    Nowadays I’d like to mention Otis Taylor... trance blues...

    It’s original. And it’s post-war. But I’m assuming I’ve read this wrong. :sigh:
  9. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    Are john lee hooker and otis rush too late?
  10. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH Forums.

    Some ideas off the top of my head:

    Elmore James (although his signature Dust My Broom is deriviative)
    Koko Taylor (although Wang Dang Doodle was previously released by Howlin' Wolf)
    Little Walter
    Charlie Musslewhite
    Big Mama Thornton
    Big Maybelle
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  11. Izozeles

    Izozeles Rock’roll Stalker

    Santiago de Chile
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  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    John mayall saw mill gulch road? Too late?
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  13. Dylancat

    Dylancat Forum Resident

    Cincinnati, OH
    Jimmy Rogers
    Walking by Myself
    Chicago Bound

    Robert Nighthawk
    Sweet Black Angel

    B.B. King
    3 O’Clock Blues

    Memphis Slim
    Mother Earth

    Plenty more
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  14. Reid Smith

    Reid Smith Forum Resident

    N Ky/Cincinnati
    Bo and Billy Boy Arnold on harmonica!
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  15. Muddy

    Muddy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    New York
    Some great suggestions here.

    Thank you!

    There are a lot of songs like that. (For instance, the Little Richard hit was originally recorded in 1928 as "Keep a-Knocking an' You Can't Come In" by James "Boogle It" Wiggens.)

    And I didn't mean to convey that impression. It doesn't necessarily need to be the songwriter (although it usually is). Lead Belly is a good example here.
    qwerty likes this.
  16. baconbadge

    baconbadge Chooglin’

    Queens, NY
    Freddie King, Lonnie Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt
    angelo73 likes this.
  17. The Carrot Guy

    The Carrot Guy Forum Resident

    Sydney, Australia
    Don't forget T-Bone Walker. The pioneer of electric blues.
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  18. PonceDeLeroy

    PonceDeLeroy Forum Resident

    Crawling King Snake (John Lee Hooker)

    Something by Clifton Chenier. Maybe I'm a Hog for You
  19. YardByrd

    YardByrd Forum Resident

    Expat in Helsinki
    Slim Harpo wrote the handbook for British blues bands just about... others: Billy Boy Arnold and Snooky Pryor
    PonceDeLeroy likes this.
  20. Pseudonym

    Pseudonym Forum Resident

    Detroit, MI

    Ry Cooder, tabla and dumbek players, and Bhatt is playing an instrument he invented (!), the mohan vina. This album won a Grammy for Best World Music Album in 1994.
    Spadeygrove likes this.
  21. angelo73

    angelo73 ⬚⿻⬚⿻⬚

    Michigan, USA
    Lightnin' Hopkins
    seed_drill, SG47 and Izozeles like this.
  22. somebodywhocares

    somebodywhocares Forum Resident

    Maine, USA
    Please share your final playlist when you're done.
    angelo73 and Curious Breeze like this.
  23. BluesOvertookMe

    BluesOvertookMe Forum Resident

    Seabrook, TX, USA

    Hard to beat those.
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  24. YardByrd

    YardByrd Forum Resident

    Expat in Helsinki
    I've been on a blues recorded at Sun in Memphis kick as of late... incredibly raw stuff, both performance and recording... Pat Hare in particular is blowing me away... he's backing up many of the "name" players on the Sun sides, but he is as distinct - if not more so - than the frontmen he's backing... I find his later stint with Muddy a bit anti-climactic after the slash and burn performances he laid down in Memphis...
  25. Carl Steward

    Carl Steward Forum Resident

    Castro Valley, CA
    I have to go T-Bone Walker here. He paved the way for so many electric bluesmen who followed. BB King cited him as a major influence. He played his guitar behind his head 20 years before Hendrix.
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