Personalities | T-Bone Walker | Roots of Rock

(Guitar, vocals, 1910–75)

Dallas-bred Aaron Walker was soloing on electric guitar as early as 1940, setting a trend that would eventually be the most commonplace image in rock music. B.B. King marvelled at Walker’s ability to play while holding the guitar away from his body. Walker left Texas in the 1930s and alternated between sessions and performances in Los Angeles, Chicago and, later, Europe, as he advanced the instrumental appeal of blues.

Walker’s peak years were the 1940s and 1950s. He found work in LA as a dancer and singer, and used both skills in his own shows when he formed his own group. Working for multiple labels like Capitol, Black & White, Imperial and Atlantic, T-Bone wowed fans with potent jams like ‘Mean Old World’, ‘T-Bone Shuffle’, ‘Strollin’ With Bones’ and the immortal ‘Stormy Monday’. Late in life Walker won a Grammy for Good Feelin’, a 1970 LP.

Styles & Forms | Roots of Rock
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Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley


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