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(Guitar, singer-songwriter, 1932–2003) Arkansas-born Cash enjoyed a 49-year career involving several periods of huge popularity. After USAF service, he formed a trio with Luther Perkins (guitar) and Marshall Chapman (bass). Auditioning for Sam Phillips at Sun Records in Memphis, Cash played rockabilly. He scored more than 20 US country hits and several US pop hits before signing ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
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One of the most revered figures in modern country music, Johnny Cash’s vast, half-century-long body of work as both a songwriter and singer encompasses an extensive tapestry of musical Americana – everything from prison songs and railroad ballads, to folk-style broadsides and even clever novelty tunes like ‘A Boy Named Sue’. As a singer, he immortalized a ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music, consultant editor Bob Allen
819 Words Read More

Johnny Hiland (b. 1975) is one of the top guitarists to emerge from the Nashville music scene in recent years. His playing combines country chicken pickin’ with elements of blues, metal and jazz. Often compared to Danny Gatton, Hiland displays an amazing vocabulary as he plays seemingly effortlessly onstage. His skill is also noteworthy because he is legally blind ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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Blues guitarist Johnny Winter (b. 1944) was born in Beaumont, Texas. Albino and cross-eyed from birth, Johnny showed a precocious talent for music, taking up the clarinet at the age of five and switching to guitar after a brief flirtation with the ukulele. Inspired by bluesmen like B.B. King, Muddy Waters and Bobby Bland, he ...

Source: Rock Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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Indie guitar legend Johnny Marr (b. 1963) was born John Maher in Manchester, England to Irish Catholic parents. He grew up in a household where music was a constant fixture, and he recalled, ‘I always had guitars, for as long as I could remember.’ Guitar technique came easily to young Johnny, and he quickly mastered ...

Source: Rock Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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Johnny Ramone (1948–2004) was born John Cummings in Long Island, New York. As a teenager, Johnny played in a band called The Tangerine Puppets alongside future Ramones drummer Tamás Erdélyi (better known as Tommy Ramone). Johnny worked as a plumber with his father before The Ramones became successful. He also attended military school and briefly attended college in Florida. ...

Source: Rock Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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Few guitarists have gone through as many career changes as Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson (1935–96). Rock, blues, jazz, funk, disco – Watson excelled at all of them. He wasn’t just a guitarist either. He could, and did, play anything except drums and horns on his records. But it is as a guitarist that he left the ...

Source: Rock Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
386 Words Read More

(Clarinet, 1892–1940) The premier New Orleans clarinetist of the 1920s, Dodds played in Kid Ory’s band from 1912–19 and then alongside Louis Armstrong and his own brother, Warren ‘Baby’ Dodds, in Fate Marable’s riverboat band. Dodds left New Orleans in January 1921 to join King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band in Chicago, taking part in that influential ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
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(Guitar, banjo, 1890–1966) Johnny St. Cyr played around New Orleans as a teenager with A.J. Piron and the Superior, Olympia and Tuxedo bands. He joined Kid Ory’s band in 1918 and later played in Fate Marable’s riverboat band. In 1923 he moved to Chicago, where he joined King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band. He played on Armstrong’s ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
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(Alto and soprano saxophones, 1907–70) Saxophonist Johnny Hodges was fortunate enough to forge an early relationship with Sidney Bechet; while playing at Club Bechet in New York he won the attention of Duke Ellington, who signed him in 1928. Hodges’ sweeping tone and scooping glissandos remained a vital part of Ellington’s orchestra for around 40 years, with only ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
104 Words Read More

(Drums, vibes, vocals, b. 1921) John Alexander Veliotes, born in Vallejo, California, started as a drummer and formed a big band in 1945. By 1947, Otis had switched to a seven- or eight-piece group. This was one of the earliest R&B combos to tour; the Johnny Otis Rhythm & Blues Caravan included vocalists Little ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
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(Guitar, piano, vocals, 1935–96) The self-proclaimed ‘Gangster Of Love’, Watson learned piano from his father in Houston, Texas but became known for his terse, stinging guitar, which influenced Frank Zappa and has been sampled by rappers. Etta James patterned her early singing after Watson’s declarative vocals, best immortalized along with his wicked instrumental prowess ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
97 Words Read More

(Guitar, vocals, harmonica, b. 1944) Like his brother, keyboardist and saxophonist Edgar, Johnny Winter is a long-haired Caucasian albino from Texas who reshaped the face of the blues in the 1970s. A phenomenal guitar technician, particularly when using the slide, he rose to prominence in Texas bars and local studios. On his first album ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
183 Words Read More

(Guitar, vocals, 1937–97) The Houston guitarist played with bluesman Joe ‘Guitar’ Hughes before forming his own band in the late 1950s. Relocating to New York in 1974, Copeland debuted on Rounder Records with 1977’s Copeland Special. In 1985 he recorded a guitar summit meeting with Albert Collins and Robert Cray (Showdown!) and in 1986 recorded Bringin’ It ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
111 Words Read More

(Vocals, guitar, 1915–78) Oklahoma-born Johnny Bond originally formed a trio with Jimmy Wakely and gained national attention on Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch radio show. He made appearances in several singing-cowboy movies, first as a member of The Jimmy Wakely Trio, then leading his own group, The Red River Valley Boys. A prolific songwriter, he is ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music, consultant editor Bob Allen
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