Sunday, April 12, 2009

It's the Birthday of Hound Dog Taylor

Release the Hound

Theodore Roosevelt "Hound Dog" Taylor was born on April 12, 1915 and he passed away on December 17, 1975.

There are a lot of dogs going around barking, but one of the truly big dogs was Hound Dog Taylor. And yes he was named after the president! As often seen in blues history the real bluesmen not only play the blues but they live the blues. And if anybody lived the blues, the Hound Dog did.

Here is also an example of a bluesman who was truly a joyous soul. You know he was having fun as he played. And some of his lyrics can make you laugh out loud or at least chuckle. Just listen to "Give Me Back My Wig" if you want to laugh.

He was a member of Sonny Boy William's II (Rice Miller) Biscuit Time radio broadcasts out of Helena, AR, before coming to Chicago in 1942. He learned to play a guitar at the age of 20, so I guess there is some hope for us late bloomers.

Not the best guitar player or smoothest vocalist, he is reported to have said, "When I die, they'll say, 'He couldn't play s***, but he sure made it sound good!'"

You can read all about him here; Wikipedia article on Hound Dog Taylor.

Interesting bit of Hound Dog Taylor trivia. He was born with a small sixth finger on each hand (he was a polydactyly), but amputated the extra digit from his right hand with a razor blade. Click here to see and image

Alligator Records biography

Hound Dog Taylor & The HouseRockersHound Dog Taylor and The House Rockers

Hound Dog Taylor Video @ The video is not of the best quality, but it does allow you to see the charm and humor of one of Blues' Big Dogs!

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