John Lee Hooker

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer

Category: Performer

Inducted in: 1991

Inducted by: Bonnie Raitt

Nominated in: 1991

First Eligible: 1986 Ceremony

Inducted into Rock Hall Revisited in 1991 (ranked #2 in the Influences - Rock Era category) .

Essential Albums (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3Amazon CD
I'm John Lee Hooker (1960)

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
Boogie Chillen (1948)
Boom Boom (1962)
One Bourdon, One Scotch, One Beer (1966)

John Lee Hooker @ Wikipedia

John Lee Hooker Videos


11 comments so far (post your own)

John Lee Hooker is another case where he should have been inducted as an early influence. "Boom, Boom" is my favorite blues song of all-time(Howlin' Wolf's version of "Spoonful" is a close second), but it is the blues not rock n roll.

Posted by Dude Man on Saturday, 07.4.09 @ 14:15pm

Hey at least they got it right with Hank Williams. (Hank was inducted as an early-influence)

Posted by Keebord on Saturday, 07.4.09 @ 14:18pm

He's another one of those that could have gone either way. Then again, if wasn't eligible until 1986, his first recording would have been in '60. I don't think that's accurate though. Although, considering how closely blues and rock'n'roll are considered by the powers that be (B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and Buddy Guy also inducted in the Performer category) it's not too surprising, and not an entirely bad call either... at least to induct him, that is.

Posted by Philip on Saturday, 07.4.09 @ 14:42pm

The blues was one of many of rock n roll's major influences. The three artists you mentioned Philip I personaly think they should have been inducted into the early influence category because they have an influence in rock n roll which can obviously be seen in acts that have strong blues influences(Rolling Stones, Cream, Yardbirds, etc.), but never quite played the music themselves.

Posted by Dude Man on Saturday, 07.4.09 @ 14:56pm

Robert Johnson was inducted as an early influence

Posted by Keebord on Saturday, 07.4.09 @ 15:34pm

The problem with inducting those guys as Early Influences instead of Performers is the exact problem I had with inducting Wanda Jackson as an Early Influence: the music didn't really predate rock'n'roll. I think those three go back no further than '52, nor does John Lee. Depending on where you place the marker as the beginnings of rock'n'roll, you have an argument, but a very shaky one at best, as their seminal recordings were after 1955. The Early Influence, pre-Jackson's induction usually referred to pre-1950s music that had a strong bearing upon the formation of rock'n'roll music.

Basically, you're making the same argument I made that Miles Davis should have been an EI, too, except, I think in your case it's weaker because Miles did have pre-1950 recordings, and jazz isn't even as close to being synonymous with rock'n'roll as the blues is.

Posted by Philip on Saturday, 07.4.09 @ 16:40pm

The only problem I had with Miles Davis' induction was I really don't think he was an influence to rock at all. There's no doubt that he was a very "cool cat", but he was jazz to the core!!! I just never got the connection with rock...

Posted by Gitarzan on Saturday, 07.4.09 @ 16:48pm

He was the primary influence in the fusion movement, which many consider to be a facet of rock'n'roll as well. Myself, I'm on the fence, mainly because I know very little about fusion. I've heard a couple Herbie Hancock songs, and "Cantaloop" borrows nicely from Miles, though that's a hip-hop song (a hip-hop song that actually borrows from rock'n'roll, imo).

Posted by Philip on Saturday, 07.4.09 @ 16:51pm

My thought was I don't know if his influence was extensive enough to be inducted into a "Rock & Roll" hall of fame. If that's the case, we should let people like Stan Getz and Wes Montgomery (who influenced Hendrix' song "Third Stone From The Sun")in also. I think the sax is a little more pronounced of a wind instrument in rock than trumpet. Of course, there was Junior Walker and King Curtis too...

Posted by Gitarzan on Saturday, 07.4.09 @ 17:04pm

King Curtis is in, as a Side-Man... Junior Walker And The All-Stars have at least been considered, and I wouldn't mind too much if they did get in. I think Getz is a little too much of a stretch. Montgomery maybe as a Side-Man.

Posted by Philip on Saturday, 07.4.09 @ 22:42pm

I'll confess that I only just recently began to delve into John Lee Hooker's vast catalog of music. I've known his name and at least 2 of his songs for all of my adult life, but my interest in the old bluesmen sent me on a mission to acquire a JLH 2-CD set (The Ultimate Collection: 1948-1990). To say I was floored by his stellar guitar playing abilities would be an understatement. The man could practically let the guitar tell the story.

Many blues guitarists have incorporated the very familiar 12-bar blues progression in their works, but it's almost nowhere to be found in JLH's music. I think he could have played other styles of music just as brilliantly as he did country blues and boogie-woogie blues. Imagine JLH playing bebop, jump blues (which he did get to demonstrate in John L's House Rent Boogie and Boogie Chillen'), honky-tonk country, or rockabilly. He would have been fantastic!

While he is indeed worthy of his enshrinement in the Hall, I feel that he would be more appropriate in the Early Influence category. His first recording, Boogie Chillen', was released in September 1948 and reached the top of the R&B charts that November. He had already been performing for at least 5 years before his recording career commenced.

So far, my favorite JLH tracks are Boogie Chillen', John L's House Rent Boogie, Crawlin' King Snake, Dimples, Frisco Blues, and Huckle Up Baby.

Posted by Zach on Monday, 06.3.13 @ 00:47am

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