James Witherspoon’s “blues shouter” – fell out of fashion in the mid – 1950s, but he returned to popularity with his 1959 album: Video

Feb24,2024 #Blues #Musician

James Witherspoon was an American blues singer. Witherspoon was born in Gurdon, Arkansas. Witherspoon made his first records with Jay McShann’s band in 1945.

He first recorded under his own name in 1947 and two years later with the McShann band, he had his first hit, “Ain’t Nobody’s Business.” Another classic Witherspoon composition is “Times Gettin’ Tougher Than Tough”. He also recorded classics such as “Stormy Monday Blues” and “How Long How Long Blues”.

Witherspoon’s blues style—that of the “blues shouter”—fell out of fashion in the mid-1950s, but he returned to popularity with his 1959 album Jimmy Witherspoon at the Monterey Jazz Festival, featuring Roy Eldridge, Woody Herman, Ben Webster, Coleman
In 1961 he toured Europe with Buck Clayton, returning to the UK many times, with a live British recording from the mid-1960s, Spoon Sings and Swings (1966), with tenor saxophonist Dick Morrissey’s quartet.

In 1970, Witherspoon appeared on Brother Jack McDuff’s London Blue Note recording To Seek a New Home alongside British jazz musicians including Dick Morrissey and Terry Smith. In the 1970s, Witherspoon recorded the album Guilty! On (later released on CD as Black & White Blues) with Eric Burdon and with Ike White & the San Quentin Prison Band. He then toured with his own band with Robben Ford and Russ Ferrante. A recording from this period, “Spoonful,” featured Witherspoon accompanied by Robben Ford, Joe Sample, Cornell Dupree, Thad Jones and Bernard Purdie. He continued to perform and record into the 1990s.

The 1995 film Georgia portrayed Witherspoon as a traveling, gun-collecting blues singer, trucker, who is in a relationship with the troubled character Sadie, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh and he played Nate Williams in The Black Godfather (1974) and Percy in To Sleep with Anger (1990). During the 1980s, Witherspoon was diagnosed with cancer. After surgery he recovered and returned to the stage. In 1997 he received a Grammy Award nomination for the album Live At The Mint. Jimmy Witherspoon died in 1997 at the age of 74. In 2008 he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

Foto Blues Historie: Post-war Blues deel 21 Jimmy Witherspoon

Related Post