From 1953, this week’s Lost Treasure is on Flair Records. The great slide blues guitarist Elmore James recorded “Hawaiian Boogie” as the B-side of his second single, “Early In The Morning”. James was inspired by the first generation of blues musicians, notably Robert Johnson, Tampa Red & Kokomo Arnold. In turn, Elmore James would inspire many blues based rock guitarists a generation on – Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jeff Beck, Duane Allman among others. He served in the US Navy in WWII where he learned electronics & started experimenting with pickups & their placement on electric guitar bodies. He also discovered he had a serious heart condition. In the late 40’s he made his mark as a session guitarist for Trumpet Records & a few other labels. He recorded for a number of labels throughout the 50’s eventually ending up on Chicago’s Chess Records where his releases had the greatest exposure. His biggest success charting on the R&B hit parades were in 1959 with the release of 5 singles that year, the most well-known of these was his signature tune “Shake Your Money Maker”. Elmore James died of a heart attack in 1963 just as he was embark on a European tour as part of the American Folk Blues Festival. “Hawaiian Boogie” is an instrumental track, whereas most of his record releases were vocals. Enjoy your weekend & dig on some great blues from the ‘king of the slide guitar’.
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