Five of Eric Burdon’s blues mentors

Published April 26, 2015 by Sherry Carroll

Montreal Gazette

Eric Burdon, the best of British blues singers, did not develop his take-no-prisoners approach without carefully listening to some the genre’s seminal artists. Here are five of his more obvious spiritual mentors.

  1. John Lee Hooker (1917-2001): the king of the one-chord boogie wrote Boom Boom, which the Animals owned in 1964 with their spirited, infectious cover.
  2. Sonny Boy Williamson (between 1899 and 1912-1965): the harmonica-playing legend toured Europe in the 1960s. In December 1963, he performed at the Club A Go Go in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and was backed by the Animals. The collaboration was captured on tape and has been released in various permutations over the years.
  3. Jimmy Witherspoon (1920-1997): Known for Ain’t Nobody’s Business, among others, the blues shouter recorded Guilty!, a collaboration with Eric Burdon, in 1971.
  4. Big Joe Turner (1911-1985): The singer recorded the immortal Shake, Rattle and Roll in 1954, helping to usher in the rock ’n’…

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