Total Pageviews

Friday, June 24, 2011

ROOTS OF THE EASTSIDE SOUND - THE RHYTHM & BLUES INFLUENCE - JOHNNY "GUITAR" WATSON


John Watson, Jr. was born in Houston, Texas February 3, 1935. His father John Sr. was a pianist, and taught his son the instrument. But young Watson was immediately attracted to the sound of the guitar, in particular the electric guitar as practiced by the "axe men" of Texas: T-Bone Walker and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
.His parents separated in 1950, when he was 15. His mother moved to Los Angeles, and took Johnny with her. In his new city, Watson won several local talent shows. This led to his employment, while still a teenager, with jump blues-style bands such as Chuck Higgin's Mellotones and Amos Milburn. He worked as a vocalist, pianist, and guitarist. He would sign with Combo Records in 1952, Federal in 1953, RPM in 1955 and Keen in 1957.
 Watson's ferocious "Space Guitar" of 1954 pioneered guitar feedback and reverb. He would also have a big hit with "Motorhead Baby", the flip side of Check Higgins' "Pachuco Hop" on which Johnny played piano. Watson would later influence a subsequent generation of guitarists. In 1955 Johnny would record the Eastside classic "Those Lonely Lonely Nights" which I believe is his best track. His song "Gangster Of Love" was first released on Keen records in 1957. It did not appear in the charts at the time, but later became a hit in 1978 and identified as Watson's "most famous song'.
  Johnny's influence on guitarists and and rappers has continued even after Watson's death on stage in 1996.

You may listen to "Space Guitar" here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVsNlchp0GE


You may listen to "Motorhead Baby" here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVsNlchp0GE


You may listen to "Those Lonely Lonely Nights" here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XiE4nzjMAk




You may listen to "Gangster Of Love" here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mZhgYanoIM

NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED!!

Soley for historical, educational & listening pleasure.

No comments:

Post a Comment