Tagged: Black Musicians

Little Walter

Little Walter: American Blues Legends Series

Known as the greatest Blues harmonist, Little Walter was born Marion Walter Jacobs in Marksville, Louisiana. He grew up in nearby Rapides Parish were he learns the harp and guitar. At the age of 12, Walter quits school and leaves home to work odd jobs and busk from town to town. He sharpens his skills on the harmonica and guitar while performing with older musicians, including Sonny Boy Williamson II, Honeyboy Edwards.

bo diddley

13 Black Artist Who Inspired Rock: Bo Diddley

In the 13th and final installment of our series, we look at the great Bo Diddley. The creator of the Bo Diddley sound and innovator that move R&B to Rock. (music)

Chuck Berry

13 Black Artists that Inspired Rock: Chuck Berry

Born on October 18, 1926, son of a deacon father and a school-teacher mother, Chuck Berry grew up in a hard-working middle-class household. His mother, a skilled piano player, passes on her love of music to her son, but soon he moves away from her baptist hymns and develops a passion for blues, jazz and the harmonies of country music.

Fats Domino

13 Black Artists Who Inspired Rock: Fats Domino

Antonio Domino or Fats Domino sold over 65 Million records during his lifetime.[1] Ranked as the 25th greatest artist of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine. There is little doubt of his influence on rock ‘n’ roll.

Robert Johnson

13 Black Artist Who Inspired Rock: Robert Johnson

It’s midnight; two lonely dirt roads cross near the Dockery Plantation in rural Mississippi. It’s there that a young man with a guitar waits. He wants to strike a deal, his soul for great talent. The Faustian legend goes that a large black man appears. He tunes the young man’s guitar. The devil owns his soul. From that point on Robert Johnson became one of the greatest guitarists of all time and the King of the Delta Blues.


13 Black Artist Who Inspired Rock: Fishbone

Grab a bag, add ska, punk, rock, funk, reggae, metal, hip-hop, country, social commentary, humor, mohawks, dreds, and unlimited energy, now shake it up. When well-mixed, pour it on a stage and you have arguably the best live band ever. You have Fishbone in its prime. A band that isn’t capable of being pigeon-holed. There is no single label. The lack of a tag makes the group special, but also may have robbed them of chart hits and household fame.

Verbib Reid

13 Black Artist Who Inspired Rock: Vernon Reid

Vernon Reid may not be a household name, but if you love music, he should be. After years of struggling to find the right lineup, while attempting to break through the racial barrier of hard rock (a time before social media) he finally convinces a label that an all-black rock band can cross over to a white audience.

A Band Called Death

13 Black Artists Who Inspired Rock: Death

Death is a story of what was and what should have been. The Detroit based proto-punk band came before the founding fathers of punk music. They were ahead of such legends as the Ramones, Sex Pistols, and the Clash. They began five years before the most famous African-American Punk band, Bad Brains (to be covered later in our series). However, it would be thirty years before their first demo album is released. Until then they were known only to the most ardent of punk rock fans.

Little Richard

13 Black Artists Who Inspired Rock: Little Richard

Heavy mascara and an androgynous sexual appeal, he bangs the piano with his groundbreaking style. His songs delivered with a powerful whooping voice. He is the legend, Little Richard. However, before fame, he was born Richard Wayne Penniman in Macon, Georgia. Influenced by two uncles and a grandfather, all preachers. His young life centers around the church.

Jimi Hendrix

13 Black Artists Who Inspired Rock: Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix may be the best-known artist on our list. He is arguably the greatest electric guitar player of all time. Born left-handed, Jimi would play a right-handed Fender Stratocaster upside down. Before Jimi, other artists unsuccessfully experimented with feedback and distortion. Hendrix masters it making a fluid sound that could peak from his soul.