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Goodbye Hound Dog Taylor 1916-1975

Goodbye Hound Dog Taylor 1916-1975 image
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Theodore "Mound Dog" ) loi . famed blues guitarist. songwnter. and and mastei oí "bottleneck" guitar techííique, passed away on December 17, 1975. He was 59. Hound Dog had been hospitalized six weeks ear lier, suffering from lung cáncer. Known lor his flamboyunt stage marmer and the driving power of his songs, Taylor began his professional career in 1935. playing around his Greenville, Miss. birthplace. He was aniong the fiist musicians to combine the use of a bottleneck or metal tube played against the guitar strings with the raucous beat of early rock and roll bands. His distinctive slide guitar style is considered higlily influential on any numbei of contemporary white rock groups. Moving to Chicago in 1940, Taylor fast became known on the city's South Side, playing alongside greats like Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf. His recording career blossomed more siowly. though; he didn't make his first records until 1957. Sincc that time, he has played at night clubs across the country, toured Europe and Australia, and appeared at most of the major blues festivals, as well as at dozens of colleges and universities. His albums are considered a basic component of any blues récord collection. Notable among his concert appearances were three featured performances at the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival, in 1970, 1972 and 1973. He also churned out his special brand of "happy blues" at two editions of the Miami Blues Festival , and at Aveiy Fischer Hall (Lincoln Center) in New York. His 1976 plans had included a return to Australia as well as a Japanese tour. Although he was known by his concert appearances, Taylor was at his peak in small joints and night clubs. Accompanied by his band, the House Rockers (which niaintained the sanie ' nel foi fowteeiï years), lic would laueh and slump and pi u y a. long as linee hours without an iiiiermissioti. Often he would .ontinue uiitil 3 or 4 a. ni., leaving exhausted dancers bchind wliile he pumped out one fast tune after another with wliat seemed like unlimited energy. ll'IJlllllll.! bllbl LJ . Taylor never used any type of prepared stage act. Instead, he relied on his ability tu improvise hilarious anecdotes and new song iyrics that til both liis mood and tlie rnood of his audience. F.very night that he performcd, he was different and fresh, spontaneous and unpredictable. Respected and loved by his fellow blues musicians, Taylor never torgot his roots. Even after winning audiences across the country and around the world, he continued to return to the South Side Chicago taverns where he first became known thirty years ago. His impromptu, all-night jam sessions and constant good humor kept him extremely popular in Chicago, and he was always willing to invite unknown musicians on stage to play with him. Taylor is survived by his wife, Fredda, four sons, and his sister, Lucy Wade, all of 5828 S. Calumet in Chicago; a brother, Robert Taylor, of Detroit; and the remaining members of the Houserockers: Brewer Phillips, lead and rhythm guitar, and Ted Harvey, drums. Hound Dog Taylor's recordings for Chicago 's Alligator Records are Hound Dog Taylor & The House Rockers and Natural Boogie. His "Kitchen Sink Boogie," featuring Brewer Phillips on lead guitar, can be heard on the Aim Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival 1972 LP Atlantic SD-2-502. It was your face. Mr. Hound. the way it radiated and your slide guitar, the way you played it, you never let up, Mr. Hound Your voice, and those songs, and Brewer & Ted - you were a pure delight, Sir Thank you old friend, master of jump and joy, for coming our way- you know we will miss you the rest of our days: Mr. Hound Dog Taylor Goodbye, dear friend -John Sinclair