John Lee Hooker

THE GRAMMY MUSEUM® CELEBRATES THE CENTENNIAL OF GRAMMY®-WINNING BLUES LEGEND

JOHN LEE HOOKER
WITH
John Lee Hooker: King of the Boogie

Opening August 22, 2017, at GRAMMY Museum Mississippi in Cleveland, Miss.

CLEVELAND, MISS. (May 1, 2017) — The GRAMMY Museum®, in conjunction with the John Lee Hooker Estate, and Craft Recordings, the Catalog Division of Concord Music Group, will celebrate the centennial of the legendary GRAMMY®-winning bluesman with the opening of a new exhibit titled John Lee Hooker: King of the Boogie, on Aug. 22, 2017, at GRAMMY Museum Mississippi in Cleveland, Miss., Hooker’s home state. The exhibit will open on what would have been the late blues icon’s 100th birthday and will celebrate Hooker’s lasting legacy through rare recordings, photos and one-of-a-kind artifacts.

The exhibit is part of a year-long celebration of Hooker’s musical legacy that features special releases from Craft Recordings, a conference at Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss., and special exhibits at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Miss., and the Memphis-based Blues Foundation. The exhibit’s official media partners are Oxford American and Living Blues.

“John Lee Hooker was truly a seminal blues artist. Many of his songs are part of America’s blues music treasury,” said blues historian and Founding Executive Director of the GRAMMY Museum Bob Santelli. “In addition to impacting blues history, Hooker’s music influenced great rock bands like the Rolling Stones, the Animals, the Yardbirds and ZZ Top. We’re thrilled to honor the King of the Boogie’s legacy and tell the story of his incredible career in his own home state.”

On display at GRAMMY Museum Mississippi throughout the fall of 2017, the exhibit will feature:

John Lee Hooker: King of the Boogie will be on display at GRAMMY Museum Mississippi from Aug. 22, 2017 through fall 2017. It will then travel to Los Angeles where it will open at the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE.

“John Lee Hooker is gone but not forgotten. In collaboration with the GRAMMY Museum and our partners, the John Lee Hooker family is pleased and honored to be able to bring to the public the artifacts in this exhibit, donated not just by family but by his very dear friends and associates. This Centennial is a celebration of John Lee Hooker’s amazing life and his love of the music that he shared with the world.” — Diane Roan- Hooker and Zakiya Hooker, daughters of the legendary blues artist.

To celebrate 100 years of Hooker’s music, Craft Recordings will issue a series of titles throughout 2017, culminating with a centennial CD box set, offering 100 career-spanning hits and rarities, plus previously unreleased material. Craft will also reissue several classic Hooker titles on 180-gram vinyl, as well as digitally, in hi-res and MFiT formats. To kick off the centennial celebrations, the label issued a 16-track collection of songs from the prime of Hooker’s career on its Vee-Jay imprint. Whiskey & Wimmen: John Lee Hooker’s Finest was released March 31 on vinyl and CD, offering classic tracks from the ’50s and ’60s, including “Boom Boom” and “Dimples.”

Other organizations celebrating the centennial include the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Miss., which will host a special exhibit about Hooker featuring clothing, guitars, recordings, and more, opening in July.  The celebration will continue through August as the museum celebrates its annual “John Lee Hooker Month” at the Delta Blues Museum. The Delta Blues Museum Band will perform Hooker’s songs when they open the 30th Annual Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival on Friday, Aug. 11. The festival will run through Aug. 13. More information about celebratory activities at the Delta Blues Museum can be found at www.deltabluesmuseum.org.

Hooker’s 1996 album, Real Folk Blues, is being inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame at a ceremony coordinated by The Blues Foundation on May 10 in Memphis.  In addition, The Blues Foundation will be opening a new exhibit, The Rosebud Agency and Mike Kappus: 45+ Years Sharing the Music, which will include a special display of Hooker artifacts, curated by Mike Kappus, long-time manager of John Lee Hooker. That exhibit will open on May 10, in conjunction with the Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, and will run through October 2017.

In addition, the Fourth Annual International Conference on the Blues at Delta State University is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 1 through Tuesday, Oct. 3,. With an established record of attracting internationally renowned blues scholars and GRAMMY Award-winning talent, the upcoming conference promises to deliver an extra dose of educational and celebratory flair. In partnership with GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, the International Conference on the Blues will commemorate the John Lee Hooker Centennial this year. To stay abreast of developments with the conference, visit www.deltastate.edu/bluesconference/.

About John Lee Hooker  
With a prolific career that spanned over five decades, legendary bluesman John Lee Hooker remains a foundational figure in the development of modern music, having influenced countless artists around the globe with his simple, yet deeply effective style. Known to music fans around the world as the “King of the Boogie,” Hooker endures as one of the true superstars of the blues: the ultimate beholder of cool. His work is widely recognized for its impact on modern music—his simple, yet deeply effective songs transcend borders and languages around the globe.

Born near Clarksdale, Mississippi on August 22, 1917 to a sharecropping family, Hooker’s earliest musical influence came from his stepfather, William Moore—a blues musician who taught his young stepson to play guitar, and whom Hooker later credited for his unique style on the instrument. By the early ‘40s, Hooker had moved north to Detroit by way of Memphis and Cincinnati. By day, he was a janitor in the auto factories, but by night, like many other transplants from the rural Delta, he entertained friends and neighbors by playing at house parties. “The Hook” gained fans around town from these shows, including local record store owner Elmer Barbee. Barbee was so impressed by the young musician that he introduced him to Bernard Besman—a producer, record distributor and the owner of Sensation Records. By 1948, Hooker—now honing his style on an electric guitar—had recorded several songs for Besman, who, in turn, leased the tracks to nationally distributed Modern Records. Among these first recordings was “Boogie Chillun,” (soon after appearing as “Boogie Chillen”) which became a #1 jukebox hit, selling over a million copies. This success was soon followed by a string of hits, including “I’m in the Mood,” “Crawling Kingsnake” and “Hobo Blues.” Over the next 15 years, Hooker signed to a new label, Vee-Jay Records, and maintained a prolific recording schedule, releasing over 100 songs on the imprint.

When the young bohemian artists of the ‘60s “discovered” Hooker, among other notable blues originators, he found his career taking on a new direction. With the folk movement in high gear, Hooker returned to his solo, acoustic roots, and was in strong demand to perform at colleges and folk festivals around the country. Across the Atlantic, emerging British bands were idolizing Hooker’s work. Artists like the Rolling Stones, the Animals and the Yardbirds introduced Hooker’s sound to new and eager audiences, whose admiration and influence helped build Hooker up to superstar status. By 1970, Hooker had relocated to California and was busy collaborating on several projects with rock acts. One such collaboration was with rock band Canned Heat, which resulted in 1971’s hit record Hooker ‘n’ Heat. The double LP became Hooker’s first charting album.

Throughout the late ‘70s and ‘80s, Hooker toured the United States and Europe steadily. His appearance in the legendary Blues Brothers movie resulted in a heightened profile once again. Then, at age 72 Hooker released the biggest album of his career, The Healer. The GRAMMY Award-winning 1989 LP featured contemporary artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Los Lobos and George Thorogood. The Healer was released to critical acclaim and sold over 1 million copies.

In the 1990s Hooker released five studio albums, including Mr. Lucky, which once again teamed Hooker with an array of artists; Boom Boom, which aimed to introduce new fans to his classic material; the GRAMMY-winning Chill Out; and a collaboration with Van Morrison, Don’t Look Back, which also garnered two GRAMMYs. Throughout the decade, Hooker’s great body of work and contributions to modern music were being recognized not only by his peers, but also by a younger generation. He became a familiar face in popular culture, with appearances on The Tonight Show and Late Night with David Letterman. In 1990, a massive tribute concert took place at New York’s Madison Square Garden, featuring Hooker and an all-star lineup of guest artists. One year later, Hooker was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and in 1997 he was presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2000, shortly before his death, Hooker was recognized with a Recording Academy® Lifetime Achievement Award, and just one week before his passing, ever true to form, the bluesman spent his final Saturday night playing a now-legendary show to a packed house at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa, California.

The Hook continues to live on: His music can regularly be heard in TV shows, commercials and films, and many of his tracks have also found a second life sampled in new songs—by the likes of R&B star Brandy, hip-hop legend Chuck D and French electronic musician St Germain, among many others. Most recently, in 2016 his iconic recording, the 1962 Vee-Jay Records single “Boom Boom,” was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame.

About the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE
Established in 2009 as a partnership between the Recording Academy and AEG, the GRAMMY Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating a greater understanding of the history and significance of music. Paying tribute to our collective musical heritage, the Museum explores and celebrates all aspects of the art form—from the technology of the recording process to the legends who’ve made lasting marks on our cultural identity. In 2017, the Museum integrated with its sister organization, the GRAMMY Foundation, to broaden the reach of its music education and preservation initiatives. As a unified organization, today, the GRAMMY Museum fulfills its mission of making music a valued and indelible part of our society through exhibits, education, grants and public programming.

About GRAMMY Museum Mississippi
Built and operated by the Cleveland Music Foundation — a non-profit organization developed in 2011—the 28,000-square-foot GRAMMY Museum Mississippi is housed near the campus of Delta State University, home of the Delta Music Institute’s Entertainment Industry Studies program, which features the most unique audio recording facilities in the South. Similar to its sister Museum—the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE—GRAMMY Museum Mississippi is dedicated to exploring the past, present and future of music, and the cultural context from which it emerges, while casting a focused spotlight on the deep musical roots of Mississippi. The Museum features a dynamic combination of public events, educational programming, engaging multimedia presentations and interactive permanent and traveling exhibits, including a Mississippi-centric area that introduces visitors to the impact of Mississippi’s songwriters, producers and musicians on the traditional and modern music landscape.  For more information about GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, visit www.grammymuseumms.org. For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @GRAMMYMuseumMS on Twitter and Instagram, and like “GRAMMY Museum Mississippi” on Facebook.  For behind-the-scenes access, add us on Snapchat at GRAMMYMuseumMS.

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Media Contacts:
Crystal Larsen
GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE
213.763.2133
clarsen@grammymuseum.org

Vickie Jackson
GRAMMY Museum Mississippi
662.441.0100
vjackson@grammymuseumms.org

Media Contacts for Craft Recordings:
Aaron Feterl
Reckoning PR
Aaron@reckoningpr.com

Todd Brodginski
Reckoning PR
Todd@reckoningpr.com

BLUES LEGEND JOHN LEE HOOKER
100th BIRTHDAY YEAR CELEBRATION BEGINS

Multi-Label Collection
WHISKEY AND WIMMEN: JOHN LEE HOOKER’S FINEST

Out March 31, 2017 on Vee-Jay Records

The son of a sharecropper, blues legend John Lee Hooker was one of the very first artists to break out of that genre and become a world-wide force. He based his sound on a driving boogie beat and lyrics that sometimes seemed to come from another world. To begin the centennial celebration of Hooker‘s birth year, Vee-Jay Records, a division of Concord Bicycle Music, will release WHISKEY AND WIMMEN: JOHN LEE HOOKER’S FINEST on March 31. The multi-label compilation features songs from Hooker‘s Vee-Jay, Specialty, Riverside and Stax Records releases, and includes many of the bluesman’s most iconic songs.

Born near Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1917, the man who would become known as the “King of the Boogie” was destined for blues royalty. Hooker‘s 1948 single, “Boogie Chillun, sold a million copies and set Hooker on his unstoppable path. Countless recordings followed, and a winding road through different labels and audiences. He was a huge influence on the burgeoning British Invasion in the early ’60s, and welcomed with open arms by the rock audience around the world. Hooker is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Blues Hall of Fame, Memphis Music Hall of Fame, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and won four Grammy’s. He performed with or had his music covered by music’s elite, including Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana and many more.

WHISKEY AND WIMMEN: JOHN LEE HOOKER’S FINEST is the perfect collection to honor the man. It includes many of Hooker‘s most exciting and time-honored recordings, showing how an artist who started with literally nothing but his inspiration and talent was able to make such a lasting impact on music. His work for the Vee-Jay, Specialty and Riverside labels were many of the recordings his unshakeable legend is built on, and provide a sonic tour of what Hooker‘s blues accomplished. Music journalist Bill Dahl contributes insightful new liner notes.

In the proud history of American music there have been a handful of blues artists who really did shape what the music became. They took the primal forces of Mississippi country blues and twisted and turned it into their very own creation. To hear how John Lee Hooker did that over the course of these 16 songs is a blood-rushing history lesson of all that he created. And to have them all on a single disc is as convincing a collection as has ever been assembled that, indeed, John Lee Hooker will remain the “King of the Boogie” forever.

“When so much music of great importance exists, it’s thrilling to continually find ways to share that history with collections like this,” says Concord Bicycle Music’s Chief Catalog Officer Sig Sigworth. “It literally sounds like America at its most exciting, and honors someone who changed the way we hear and feel forever.”

Track Listing:

  1. Boom Boom
  2. Boogie Chillun
  3. Dimples
  4. I’m in the Mood
  5. I Love You Honey
  6. Whiskey and Wimmen
  7. I Need Some Money
  8. Grinder Man
  9. I’m Going Upstairs
  10. Big Legs, Tight Skirt
  11. No More Doggin’
  12. No Shoes
  13. Crawlin’ Kingsnake
  14. Frisco Blues
  15. It Serve Me Right to Suffer
  16. Time Is Marching

Pre-order WHISKEY AND WIMMEN: JOHN LEE HOOKER’S FINEST:
On Vinyl LP: http://smarturl.it/WhiskeyandWimmenLP
On CD: http://smarturl.it/WhiskeyandWimmen

Click here for press kit

For more info, visit JohnLeeHooker.com and @JohnLeeHookerOfficial on Facebook

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For press inquiries, contact Reckoning PR:
Aaron Feterl: aaron@reckoningpr.com
Todd Brodginski: todd@reckoningpr.com