Thursday, June 05, 2008
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Junior Parker
Album:Blues Masters Vol. 1:Urban Blues
Junior Parker was one of the smoothest bluesmen of the 50s & 60s. He's somewhat forgotten today because he died prematurely. Herman Parker Jr. was born May 27, 1932 in Clarksdale, MS. He learned to play harmonica from the legendary Sonny Boy Williamson. He worked for Howlin' Wolf in 1949 and was part of the Beale Streeters in Memphis with BB King & Bobby Bland. in 1951 he started his band The Blue Flames with guitarist Auburn "Pat" Hare. Ike Turner signed him to Modern Records. He released one single and went to record for Sam Phillips at Sun Records. He had some success at Sun including the 1953 hit Mystery Train which was later covered by Elvis Presley. He then moved to Don Robey's Duke Records and was part of the Blues Consolidated group with Bobby Bland that toured the south for several years. His version of the Roosevelt Sykes song Driving Wheel was one of his biggest hits in 1961. This various artists comp from Rhino would be a very good intro to the blues for beginners. Parker left Duke in 1966 and his recordings for Mercury & Capitol weren't as successful. Junior Parker died of a brain tumor on Nov. 18. 1971 at age 39. He was inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame in 2001. There's no performance video of Junior Parker so here's a video of his song Stand By Me.