Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Vance in Quitman County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

John Lee Hooker

 
 
John Lee Hooker Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, May 23, 2021
1. John Lee Hooker Marker
Inscription.  John Lee Hooker (c. 1917-2001), one of the most famous and successful of all blues singers, had his musical roots here in the Delta, where he learned to play guitar in the style of his stepfather, Will Moore. Hooker spent many of his early years with his family in the cottonfields around Vance and Lambert before he moved to Detroit in the 1940s. He became an international celebrity after recording hits such as “Boogie Chillen,” “I’m in the Mood,” and “Boom Boom.”

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;

John Lee Hooker Marker (reverse) image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, May 23, 2021
2. John Lee Hooker Marker (reverse)
Click or scan to see
this page online
Social Security files list his birthplace as Glendora. His father, William Hooker, at one time a sharecropper on the Fewell plantation near Vance, was a preacher who frowned upon the blues. John Lee preferred living with his stepfather, blues guitarist Will Moore, and claimed that his idiosyncratic style was “identical” to Moore’s. Hooker was also influenced by his sister Alice’s boyfriend, Tony Hollins (1910-c.1959), who gave Hooker his first guitar. Hooker’s song “When My First Wife Left Me” was based on a 1941 Hollins recording. Hollins once lived north of Vance in Longstreet (so named for its long street of stores, houses, and dance halls).

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

Closeup of photos & captions on reverse. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, May 23, 2021
3. Closeup of photos & captions on reverse.
Pioneer Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (as well as the one in Clarksdale). He was inducted into both the Rock and Roll and Blues Halls of Fame. Hooker moved to California in the late 1960s and later owned a club, the Boom Boom Room, in San Francisco. He died at his home in Los Altos on June 21, 2001.

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 AmericansArts, Letters, MusicEntertainment. 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

John Lee Hooker Marker at Vance Post Office. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, May 23, 2021
4. John Lee Hooker Marker at Vance Post Office.
, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 13745 Charley Pride Hwy, Vance MS 38964, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
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.)
 
Looking north on Charlie Pride Highway. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, May 23, 2021
5. Looking north on Charlie Pride Highway.
 
 
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 35 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 28, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

Share This Page.  
Share on Tumblr
m=174054

Paid Advertisement
Jun. 12, 2021