Personalities | Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated | Sixties | Jazz & Blues

(Vocal/instrumental group, 1962–67)

Alexis Korner (guitar, piano, vocals), born in Paris, France in 1928, was considered to be the father of electric British blues. When he and Cyril Davies (harmonica, vocals) formed Blues Incorporated in 1962 with Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophone), Andy Hoogenboom (bass), Ken Scott (piano) and Charlie Watts (drums), their amplified line-up met with resistance. So Korner and Davies opened their own venue, the Ealing Rhythm & Blues Club, beneath a London teashop in 1962; they were soon attracting large crowds of hipsters including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones. Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker replaced Hoogenboom and Watts, and the group began a residency at the Marquee Club.

Their debut, the live R&B From The Marquee (1962), was the first British blues album. Yet commercial success evaded Korner, as the Rolling Stones, Bluesbreakers and other bands inspired and encouraged by him ascended. Korner remained musically active in the decades after Blues Incorporated, before dying of lung cancer in 1984.

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Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel


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