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  • The greatest guitarist....

    ..you've probably never heard of.


    The great Lonnie Johnson

    Johnson was a pioneering Blues and Jazz guitarist and banjoist. He started playing in cafes in New Orleans and in 1917 he traveled in Europe, playing in revues and briefly with Will Marion Cook's Southern Syncopated Orchestra. When he returned home to New Orleans in 1918 he discovered that his entire family had been killed by a flu epidemic except for one brother. He and his surviving brother, James "Steady Roll" Johnson moved to St. Louis in 1920 where Lonnie played with Charlie Creath's Jazz-O-Maniacs and with Fate Marable in their Mississippi riverboat bands. In 1925 Johnson married Blues singer Mary Johnson and won a Blues contest sponsored by the Okeh record company. Part of the prize was a recording deal with the company. Throughout the rest of the 1920s he recorded with a variety of bands and musicians, including Eddie Lang, Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. In the 1930s Johnson moved to Cleveland, Ohio and worked with the Putney Dandridge Orchestra, and then in a tire factory and steel mill. In 1937 he moved back to Chicago and played with Johnny Dodds, and Jimmie Noone. Johnson continued to play for the rest of his life, but was often forced to leave the music business for periods to make a living. In 1963 he once again appeared briefly with Duke Ellington.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~

    Then there was Tampa Red.

  • #2
    And . . .

    Andres Segovia

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    • #3
      Eddie Durham

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      • #4
        I submit Joe Pass. How many people outside of the world of jazz have heard of him? Listen:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWa6aChS ... ed&search=

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        • #5
          Elizabeth Cotten.

          Either take my word for it, check her out on Wikipedia, or better yet, get 'n listen to her music - in particular her classic "Freight Train". Mmmmmm ... tasty ...

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          • #6
            There is no greatest guitar player, apples and oranges, but if you break it down its at least debatable.

            Technique, historically important, ground breaking, feeling, speed, chops, licks, presence, knowledge, tone ect. ect.

            Joe Pass is a monster but so are the old blues players in their own way.
            phsstt!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Honusonthesound
              Elizabeth Cotten.

              Either take my word for it, check her out on Wikipedia, or better yet, get 'n listen to her music - in particular her classic "Freight Train". Mmmmmm ... tasty ...
              I have that tune. She's pretty good but the queen of the guitar would be Memphis Minnie. Sister Rosetta Tharpe can play.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SQUACKEE
                There is no greatest guitar player, apples and oranges, but if you break it down its at least debatable.

                Technique, historically important, ground breaking, feeling, speed, chops, licks, presence, knowledge, tone ect. ect.

                Joe Pass is a monster but so are the old blues players in their own way.
                Yes, yes and yes.

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                • #9
                  Robert Johnson. The devil has his soul to proove it :evil:

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mike renfro
                    Robert Johnson. The devil has his soul to proove it :evil:
                    Robert was actually a big fan of Lonnie's. Lonnie first recorded in 1925, Robert in 36.

                    For years blues historians were baffled over how he played some of the cords he had played. There was even talk of two guys on one guitar...haha!!!!! Then they discovered a picture of him. He had extraordinary hands, they were huge. Robert was able to reach places on a guitar neck nobody else could reach.

                    There is nobody like Robert Johnson if ya take the total package.

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