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John Lee Hooker biography



John Lee Hooker Born: August 22, 1917, Clarksdale, Mississippi Died: August 21, 2001, Los Altos, California John Lee Hooker was a master of "boogie" with haunting, sensuously compelling signature vocals and the ability to create a whole world of sound from a single, repetitive chord. His unique, original style hugely influenced other blues artists and especially rock and roll. The Rolling Stones, the Animals, early Fleetwood Mac and Johnny Winter are just a few of Hooker's admirers. Early on he was influenced by gospel and Delta blues. He learned to play guitar from his stepfather, who reportedly knew blues legend Charley Patton. In 1943 he moved to Detroit, where his sound was a welcome and complete change from the slicker post-war blues. For the next four decades Hooker continued to work with his signature style, performing and recording, and his devotion to his craft never faded, even when his popularity did. The respect he'd long garnered from the blues and rock community was evident in his comeback 1989 release The Healer, which featured a roll call of prestigious names from both genres. As he aged he was known as a living blues legend, and he continued to perform, even when he had to be slowly escorted to the stage.