John Lee Hooker
John Lee Hooker was at once one of the most influential yet inimitable artists in blues history. His distinctive “boogie” style harked back to the early days of blues, but his mixture of down-home sounds and urban sensibilities resounded with many southerners who, like him, migrated north seeking work and a better life. Hooker, one of eleven children, often gave vague and contradictory details about his early life, later professing little desire to return to Mississippi. He often cited August 22, 1917, as his birth date, although census records, showing the family near Tutwiler in 1920 and 1930, indicate he was several years older. He said he born between Clarksdale and Vance;
Following stays in Memphis and Cincinnati and returns to the Vance/Lambert area, Hooker settled in Detroit, where he made his first recordings in 1948. In 1949 his single “Boogie Chillen” reached No. 1 on the R&B charts; “I’m in the Mood” achieved the same feat in 1951. Hooker, famed for his ability to improvise new songs in the studio, recorded prolifically for many different labels, often under pseudonyms to avoid contractual problems. He later crossed over to rock ‘n’ roll and folk audiences, and enjoyed a remarkable resurgence beginning in 1989 with the release of The Healer, one of several Hooker albums that featured collaborations with leading rock artists. Hooker received four GRAMMY® Awards, a Rhythm & Blues Foundation
Hooker’s cousin Earl Hooker (1929-1970), who also hailed from the Vance area, was widely regarded by his peers as the best guitarist in the blues. A versatile and innovative performer, Hooker was especially celebrated for his slide guitar skills. As a teenager Hooker performed on the King Biscuit Time radio show in Helena, and later played and recorded with Ike Turner, Junior Wells, and many others, including his own Chicago-based group, the Roadmasters.
Erected 2011 by the Mississippi Blues Commission. (Marker Number 122.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment. In addition, it is included in the Mississippi Blues Trail series list. A significant historical date for this entry is June 21, 2001.
Location. 34° 4.481′ N, 90° 21.006′ W. Marker is in Vance, Mississippi, in Quitman County. Marker is on Charlie Pride Highway (Mississippi Route 3) south of King Road, on the right
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Tutwiler Funeral Home (approx. 6.2 miles away); W.C. Handy Encounters the Blues (approx. 6.3 miles away); Legendary Home of the Blues (approx. 6.3 miles away); Tallahatchie County Confederate Monument (approx. 7.3 miles away); Emmett Till Murder Trial (approx. 7.3 miles away); Tallahatchie County (approx. 8.1 miles away); Sunnyland Slim (approx. 9.6 miles away); Dunn Mounds (approx. 12.2 miles away).
Also see . . . Wikipedia article on John Lee Hooker. (Submitted on May 28, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Credits. This page was last revised on May 28, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 28, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 93 times since then and 52 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 28, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.