T-Bone Walker

pinit fg en rect gray 28 T Bone Walker

t bone walker T Bone WalkerIf you talk to any great blues guitarist, I bet most would say that T-Bone Walker was a big influence on them. Certainly the early urban blues greats like B.B. King and Buddy Guy were influenced by T-Bone.

And even though he played a more “uptown” style of blues than the more rockin Chicago blues, I bet the blues rockers at least listened to him. Even rock guitarists like Chuck Berry and Jimi Hendrix were heavily influenced by T-Bone.

Here’s some quotes…

“When I heard T-Bone Walker play the electric guitar I had to have one.”- B.B. King

“All the things people see me do on the stage I got from T-Bone Walker.” – Chuck Berry

“When T-Bone Walker came, I was into that. That was the sound I was looking for.” – Albert King

In fact, T-Bone Walker may have been the first guitarist to play behind his head and be a real showman with his guitar on stage. Certainly Hendrix’s showmanship and Chuck Berry’s duck walk were influenced by T-Bone’s stage antics. Not to mention later “tricks” by Stevie Ray Vaughan and many others.

I remember the first time I heard T-Bone Walker’s name…

And I’m sure this is true for many who heard their first blues in the 60’s and 70’s. It came when The Allman Brothers played his classic Stormy Monday, on their Live At Filmore East album from 1971. Who can forget Duane Allman announcing, “This is actually a T-Bone Walker song…” during the songs introduction. Their version probably turned on more people to T-Bone Walker than any other version. It’s still a classic.

Early History

t bone2 T Bone Walker

T-Bone Walker

T-Bone Walker, real name Aaron Thibeaux Walker, was born in Linden, Texas in 1910, and was of African American and Cherokee descent. Walker’s parents, Movelia Jimerson and Rance Walker, were both musicians. His father left soon after his birth and his mother moved to Dallas.

His mother soon married, Marco Washington, who taught him to play the guitar, ukulele, banjo, violin, mandolin, and piano.

Early in the 1900s, the teenage Walker learned his craft among the street-strolling string bands of Dallas. His mother and stepfather (a member of the Dallas String Band) were musicians, and family friend Blind Lemon Jefferson sometimes joined the family for dinner.

Walker left school at age 10, and by 15, he was a professional performer on the blues circuit. Initially, he was Jefferson’s protégé and would guide him around town for his gigs.

In 1929, Walker made his recording debut with a single for Columbia Records, “Wichita Falls Blues”/”Trinity River Blues.” He was billed as Oak Cliff T-Bone in those days. Oak Cliff was the community he lived in at the time and T-Bone a corruption of his middle name. Pianist Douglas Fernell was his musical partner for the record.

Walker married Vida Lee in 1935; the couple had three children. She was his one true love for his entire life and he wrote many songs about her.

Walker moved to the West Coast around 1930, probably due to the hard depression life of that time in Texas, and he often is grouped into that West Coast style of blues along with Charles Brown and Clarence Gatemouth Brown, and other of the “jazzier” blues musicians. But Texas might argue that description. He is often associated with the Texas blues sound as well.

By age 25, in around 1935, Walker was working the clubs in Los Angeles’ Central Avenue, sometimes as the featured singer and guitarist with Les Hite’s orchestra. He was developing a reputation as a singer, guitarist, and showman, and was experimenting a lot with the electric guitar, a Gibson ES-250 and a matching EM-185 amplifier. He was good friends with Charlie Christian and both are credited with being some of the earliest guitarists to play the electric guitar.

The Golden Years

t bone3 T Bone Walker

T-Bone Walker

By the early 40’s Walker had perfected his sound and was ready to record and break out as a major blues star. Jump blues was coming into its own and T-Bone became associated with that style.

In July 1942 he was signed to the new Capitol label and began recording as part of Freddie Slacks fifteen piece band. He cut his first two classics, “I Gotta Break Baby” and “Mean Old World” showing his easy swinging vocals and his distinctive guitar sound and riffs that would become classic T-Bone.

But the second world war put a damper on his career as recording was banned. For the rest of the war his recording career was put on hold. But he still was a major performer in clubs and concerts.

From 1942 he was a regular at the Rhumboogie club in Chicago and when it closed in 1945 the owner started a label, Rhumboogie Records, and T-Bone was one of the first artists to record for the label. He recorded ten tracks for the label and having had some success he decided to move back to the hottest music scene in the country, Central Avenue, Los Angeles. He was soon booked in as the star attraction at the Club Alabam, the hottest club on the strip.

In 1946 he signed to Black And White, though he was sought by many bigger labels. This was the start of T-Bones golden period. The immortal classic “Call It Stormy Monday” was recorded in his third B&W session in September 1947. This was to become the most famous of T-Bones tunes and has been covered by many artists.

During November and December of that year, he recorded over 30 tracks because there was a recording ban starting at the end of 1947, and the record companies needed to stockpile the masters for later release. Some of the later recordings had quite a jazz tinge and “Inspiration Blues” shows a clear bebop influence.

T-Bone Shuffle,” probably his best known song and most covered, other than Stormy Monday, was a hit in 1949 as was “Go Back To The One You Love” in 1950.

His last session with B&W on December 29th, 1950, produced more classic tunes such as “I’m Still In Love With You“, one of T-Bones most romantic songs, and “West Side Baby” which was also a big jukebox hit. By this time Capitol Records had bought all the B&W recordings and was reissuing the best tracks for jukeboxes across the country. This was to be the end of his golden period, though he produced much great work after this time.

During the mid 50’s he recorded for Imperial Records and recorded his only record over the next five years. It was really a compilation and also re-recordings of many of his classics, called T-Bone Blues, recorded over three widely separated sessions in 1955, 1956 and 1959, and finally released by Atlantic Records in 1960. This is one of my favorite T-Bone albums and contains many of the songs I most associate with T-bone… although there are other great classics.

The late 50’s and early 60’s were quiet years for T-Bone as rock ‘n’ roll pushed the blues into the background. Luckily for blues musicians, Europe was still quite new territory for traditional American Blues, so T-Bone joined forces with other blues luminaries to join a special tour.

Starting in 1962 in Hamburg, Germany, he was part of “The American Folk Blues Festival” playing and singing on the tour which was recorded for European television audiences. That festival lasted for over 20 years and you can learn more about it and watch some great videos here.

The Twilight of His Career

Things turned around for T-Bone by the mid sixties and he found a new audience with the white middle class, playing folk clubs, colleges and more European festival tours.

T-Bone continued to record through the sixties and he made some excellent recordings for the Bluesway label in 1967 and 1968. In 1970 T-Bone was awarded a Grammy for his album “Good Feeling” he had recorded in France for Polydor in 1968.

His health began to deterioriate due to his long-standing drinking problem, and following a recurrence of ulcer problems in 1974, T-Bone was admitted to the Vernon Convalescent Hospital in Los Angeles for the treatment of pneumonia. He passed away on the 16th of March 1975.

His Style

T-Bone Walkers sound and playing style is truly his own. He as a unique phrasing style with staccato runs that are both unusual and smooth and melodic at the same time. You won’t find many guitarists these days that naturally have a feel for his style. He starts runs on off beats and cuts them off in unusual places.

This Is A Great Video Of T-Bone At His Best

Of course, Duke Robillard and Ronnie Earl are among the modern guitarists who do a great job keeping his style alive. Duke in particular can be heard playing T-Bone lines note-for-note. Here’s some videos that show him at his T-Bone best.

And you can find some great instruction on his sound and the West Coast and Jump Blues style at TrueFire.com.

T-Bone Walker Equipment

His guitars of choice were mostly large Gibson hollow bodies, the ES-250 (1930s-1950s), ES-5 (1950s-1970s), ES-335 (early 1970s). T-Bone occasionally used a Gibson Barney Kessell model in the 1960s-1970s. He uses mostly the guitars favored by the early jazz guitarists although he would hardly be called a jazz guitarist in my mind.

His amp was often a Fender tweed 4×10 Bassman. In the late 30s and early 40s, T-Bone is reputed to have plugged into a Gibson EH-150 and the EM-185 mentioned previously.

His sound was basically clean with only a small amount of distortion.

His Legacy

T-Bone Walker will forever be a major influence on blues guitar. Each new generation “discovers” him and wants to learn his licks and his amazing phrasing.

And his songs, written mostly by himself, are classics both in their arrangements and in their soulful unique style. They took the blues to another level, and to a different more uptown audience. You might even say he was ahead of his time.

All I know is, I sure do love his playing and trying to learn his style will keep me challenged for years to come.

Click To Watch A Free Lesson

728x90 T Bone Walker

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Most Popular Blues Songs | Learn How To Play Blues Guitar - [...] Stormy Monday – T-Bone Walker [...]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


  • 360 download center username and password
  • acd chemsketch free download software
  • powerchute personal 3 download
  • download anca sa nu uiti de mine
  • download boots pes 2012 ps2
  • tumhi dekho na mp3 download
  • download krem sara mp3
  • adobe distiller download vista
  • download leawo iphone video converter full
  • download j# second edition
  • one more chance original download
  • make do and mend download bodies of water
  • download airtel ar rahman ringtone
  • download the ides of march subtitles
  • the sims 3 download e installazione
  • download nang cong chua cua toi
  • download einkommensteuererklArung 2009 formular
  • download software delete undeletable files
  • viber nokia c6 01 download
  • download driver audio positivo v41
  • lonely planet turkey 12th download
  • free download naam gum jayega lata mangeshkar
  • add ons xbmc download
  • download dpg format movies
  • download lynda dreamweaver and wordpress building themes
  • download xplore for symbian
  • download nba 2k12 pc jumbofiles
  • end game video download
  • 18 wheels haulin download
  • fim de ano download rafinha
  • c for dummies volume 2 download
  • download kroll ontrack data recovery
  • download preferences outlook 2007
  • chirurgia the last door download
  • opera mini download pc free
  • adobe 10.3 reader download
  • boulevard of wonderwall download free
  • download gloc 9 walang natira mp3
  • download cities on flame with rock and roll
  • hilary duff getaway download mp3
  • download previous purchases to iphone
  • download working nds roms
  • download battlestar galactica series 3
  • antiwpa download windows xp
  • online fernsehen software download
  • audiobook download the hobbit
  • can you download zune on mac
  • download so sick ne yo
  • licence for download manager
  • download symbian v5 apps
  • download zA geraldo dvd
  • xote dos milagres download
  • mundo estranho mortes misteriosas download
  • minecraft singleplayer download kostenlos deutsch
  • free download lagu kahwin mp3
  • ios 5 download no itunes
  • free download hd video games
  • glee only exception download free
  • download hitam putih ada band
  • needless opening 1 full download
  • music download legal app
  • download azan in mobile
  • download mp3 songs of shehzad roy
  • download hair styling games
  • download idm serial number 6.11 free
  • download compaq visual fortran windows 7
  • download wireless usb adapter netgear
  • download 2x8 the walking dead
  • download telephone ring sound wav
  • download garmin 2010 maps
  • ibrahim tatlAses vur gitsin download
  • download tier 1 application form
  • download sunda mp3 gratis
  • download denting melly goeslaw
  • dll files for download
  • dui prithibi download movie
  • download cavalo de guerra hd
  • download attachments iphone 4 email
  • free download naad khula song
  • download kunci gitar wali nenekku pahlawanku
  • open canvas italiano download
  • download ftp black b0x
  • download definitions symantec endpoint protection
  • download da serie casos e acasos
  • download mappa tomtom europa
  • download tha joker virgin
  • download mankatha theme music free
  • download mise a jour pokora
  • quake 3 download free full version
  • medieval 2 kingdoms download iso
  • download swap magic 3.8 iso
  • fringe download prima stagione
  • download psycho music mp3
  • download donna summer on the radio mp3
  • download isp billing software
  • download violin dubstep zippy
  • download opera mini hp 5300
  • download mp3 pesona rhoma irama
  • penguin storm 4.1 download free
  • download pokemon lavender town music
  • download mexican mariachi song
  • download tron bo hoai linh
  • download jdbc oracle thin driver
  • sims 2 exe crack download
  • f a 18 super hornet demo download
  • download oru kal oru kannadi tamil songs
  • download cd conquistando o impossivel jamily
  • download ganesh hegde mein deewana
  • download froggy jump android
  • download go mobile cimb niaga for blackberry
  • download upsc previous year question papers
  • download dragon ball vs street fighter free
  • cd rAgis danese famAlia download
  • extreme rules 2012 download link
  • download omg dj class remix
  • download tubidy app for blackberry
  • prince of persia 2 download free
  • download hadoop for dummies
  • free download microsoft mathematics 32 bit
  • download ot yurots 8.60
  • download gratis hyves op je mobiel
  • macy gray try download
  • effective c download third edition
  • download the duff ebook
  • download eu diablo 3
  • download gundam ms igloo 2
  • download edimax ew 7811un driver
  • odin download android samsung
  • download sajjad ali bolo bolo
  • download peter gabriel i grieve mp3
  • download trae tha truth i'm on
  • free download of foster the people torches
  • download capoeira fighter 3 full version
  • download jake la furia rosso nero
  • download i love you quotes
  • download aur ahista mp3
  • badan pe sitare karaoke download
  • download urdu hadith mp3
  • download lagu galau indonesia terbaru
  • microsoft sbs 11 download
  • download noizy my lady
  • nokia n8 user manual v557 download
  • download yaar gaddar songs
  • download cfw 3.55 da sony
  • nokia e50 skype download
  • download mp3 uya kuya bunga mimpiku
  • download 7 zip windows 7 64 bit
  • download trapped under ice stay cold
  • download ie tab for mozilla
  • download livro fisico quimica atkins
  • download livro romance julia
  • download geisha cukup tak lagi gudang lagu
  • runic mt font download
  • 64 bit kmplayer download
  • frank sinatra download my way
  • download aldous huxley heaven and hell
  • find download speed of internet connection
  • download font vni times day du
  • download formerly known by andy mineo
  • Aoklu msn yamasA download gezginler
  • kein download im market
  • download song 99 problems
  • download assault rock mp3
  • download videos any website free
  • robert duncan fired up download
  • domace serije download besplatno
  • musica caipira download blog
  • download za cs 1.6 full v42
  • download euphoria enrique iglesias album
  • rowdy rathore download songs
  • download 7 icons playboy video
  • counter strike global offensive download vollversion
  • opera mini 6 free download getjar
  • download cd juizo final ficha limpa
  • download joA?o lucas e walter filho 2012
  • ddd pool game download free
  • songs.pk download vicky donor
  • download crack lada racing club
  • blackberry 8320 games download free
  • download ncis saison 9 vf
  • download billing invoice template
  • download lufia snes rom
  • los verdaderos download zion y lennox
  • download ice age 4 ganool
  • tokyo mew mew video download
  • flashing lights acapella download
  • download sheel's dictionary for windows 7
  • fifa online 2 download pc free
  • recboot download 2.2 windows
  • download try with me nicole scherzinger
  • asus m2n68 se2 driver download
  • ti 83 plus rom download
  • download employment cover letter
  • colbie caillat download rar
  • blaupunkt code calculator free download
  • silbermond ich bereue nichts download
  • san diego public library download audio books
  • mihaita piticu regina reginelor download originala
  • download vasile conea floare alba de sulfina
  • download mp3 berharap kau kembali
  • download cee lo green bodies
  • download chapa c eres tu
  • download lagu terima kasih segalanya
  • resident evil 5 coop download
  • download hp photosmart 130 driver
  • abrar ul haq download mp3
  • download stairway to heaven backwards
  • download lagu eun bi sarange dachyeoseo
  • lam the nao download video ta youtube
  • download games sims pets 3
  • download the notebook 3gp
  • download arc touch mouse driver
  • call of duty ps2 download
  • modloader download planet minecraft
  • download explorer.exe windows vista sp2
  • free download 91 assistant for iphone
  • dell omsa 7.0 download
  • free download of transcend mp860 video converter
  • pod to windows download
  • twilight download new moon
  • download terbaru mp3 gratis
  • download about you now miranda cosgrove mp3
  • download youtube downloader 6.5
  • download geeta zaildar new songs
  • bjork miss you download
  • download music of tarkan
  • deuces chris brown download song
  • download silkroad online game
  • download din shagna da
  • el poder nuestro es download
  • download uml 2 eclipse
  • download fallout 3 data3.cab
  • naruto shippuden 236 download rmvb
  • download j lo ft pitbull dance again
  • download mogrify lightroom 3
  • download gallery lock pro
  • marshall law power game download
  • download mp3 dangdut koplo minyak wangi
  • download aplikacije za telefon
  • download bahasa indonesia joomla 2.5
  • download game of thrones season 2 episode 1
  • download panduan belajar keyboard
  • free download arm microcontroller book
  • download yaadein movie for free
  • a certain smile download
  • icy tower v1 3.1 download
  • download asu din corason
  • download gudang lagu dj
  • lg kp500 maps download
  • don moen download music
  • download nhl 09 addony
  • download mahaganapathim remix mp3
  • download um quadro de nA?s dois
  • comment avoir internet download manager gratuit
  • download edinburgh glasgow expansion pack
  • download filme missA?o romana
  • download filme tudo que lola quiser
  • download lagu jiraiya versi indonesia
  • download live while we're young mp4
  • fifa online 2 download vtc
  • download sA? do microsoft word
  • download we belong everly
  • download en veetu thottathil mp3
  • campbell biology 8th download free
  • download map navitel terbaru
  • d link dfe 530tx driver download windows 7
  • p cad 2006 sp2 download
  • x hero siege 4.00 download
  • download she said yes
  • tim maia download gratis
  • download camfrog password decryptor 0.4.0
  • how to download emoji keyboard
  • download poseidon ep 8 eng sub
  • download dub be good to me
  • piratatuga download fm 2011
  • download terry seharusnya memilih aku
  • free download lagu babak cinta
  • download science of fear
  • oracle download solaris 10
  • download the chosen ones dream evil mp3
  • jyj 3hree voices 2 download
  • download google earth n97
  • download word 2007 softpedia
  • download free canopus procoder 3
  • ilife 09 download for mac
  • download dp animation maker
  • free download bez more you
  • canto del cardellino download
  • agent oso video download
  • download nelly furtado in god's hands mp3
  • ooty varai uravu songs download
  • download j lo into you mp3
  • big download starcraft 2
  • download free ds games nds
  • santana love is you download
  • download game offline truc xanh
  • jain stavan download song
  • runescape bot java download
  • deus ex 1 download pc completo
  • download liedjes voor iphone
  • download esto es calle lapiz conciente
  • download american pie band camp unrated
  • download stone temple pilots crackerman
  • download asiong salonga manila kingpin movie
  • download lagu on the floo
  • karina pasian so i play it download
  • malai vangi thantha song download
  • download thomson tg585 v7 software
  • download pchand screen recorder
  • download lost in translation exquire
  • iron man effects download
  • vampire diaries download ita 2 stagione
  • khudaya tu bata song download
  • 007 password recovery 1.1 download
  • download together as one lucky dube
  • nicoleta guta haide vino download fileshare
  • opera mini 4.4 download in mobile
  • download airport madness 2 free
  • download uncharted 3 main theme
  • how to download a draft class in nba 2k12
  • download rubi la descarada mp3
  • asc timetable software download
  • pathology brs download panda's
  • download shiny love ost love rain
  • download capture file cisco asa
  • download f1 racing game free
  • download truyen doremon bong chay
  • download gag boot loader live cd
  • download chessmaster xi grandmaster edition
  • download net 4 full version
  • download deva gana album
  • download quien ricardo arjona
  • arnaldo antunes qualquer 2006 download
  • hp 6300 download software
  • download hit bollywood songs
  • download dj mebbe vol 37
  • free download father day wallpaper
  • wordfast pro 6 download
  • canon 20d zoombrowser download
  • download apostilas para o enem 2011
  • download zhu zhu pets game
  • peachtree accounting free download with crack
  • download free alvin and the chipmunks movie
  • busy signal loaded download
  • amplitube x gear mac download
  • download pes 2011 xperia play
  • 13 assassins download hd
  • download d tecnolife full
  • download simplu yeke yeke girlshare
  • ziphone 2.6 b free download mac
  • download uniform rules for collection
  • download free eh giA vasco rossi
  • lg ks365 free download games
  • download center for windows 7
  • worms download gratis completo
  • download estimated time calculator
  • arno pro font free download windows
  • mass effect zaeed dlc download
  • combat arms download manual
  • download borderlands on pc free
  • download gas turbine theory
  • download service manager 2012 authoring tool
  • download final fantasy 12 music
  • download lucky dog 1
  • bins download windows 7
  • download jay chou hua hai
  • download mapa gps garmin brasil
  • download opera mini 4.4 modif
  • download future aint no way around it instrumental
  • fashawn strange love free download
  • alibaba trade manager client download
  • download linkin park blackbird mp3
  • download 17 day diet book free
  • download film the borgia
  • free download gregory lemarchal mp3
  • download 90s anthems ministry of sound
  • download game shopping dress up
  • media player download for blackberry 8520
  • download livro senhores da tempestade
  • download s7 f system
  • download demi lovato videos
  • download driver for transcend pen drive
  • t.i ride wit me download mp3
  • saawariya songs.pk download mp3
  • kokoro connect volume 5 download
  • download life of pi audiobook
  • aaya re jashnn download
  • download dulce sarut laura vass
  • program za remix download
  • download belly 1998 movie free
  • tribes 2 update download
  • terrace martin hey girl download
  • download one world one love michael bolton
  • download jackass number two dublado
  • suffering ties that bind download ps2
  • download song dulhe ka sehra suhana
  • download dikir puteri mp3 song
  • download discografia completa kid abelha
  • american pie trailer download
  • download surah pilihan mp3