Luther Allison (1939-1997)
"The blues always been there with me."
Born in Widener, Arkansas in 1939, Luther Allison (the 14th of 15 musically
gifted children) first connected to the blues at age ten, when he began
playing the diddley bow (a wire attached by nails to a wall with rocks for
bridges and a bottle to fret the wire). His family migrated to Chicago in
1951, and Luther Allison began soaking in the sounds of
Sonny Boy Williamson, and
He was classmates with
son and occasionally stopped in the Waters' house to watch the master
rehearse. It wasn't until Luther Allison was 18 already in Chicago for seven
years that Luther began playing blues on a real guitar and jamming with his
brother Ollie's band. By 1957, Luther Allison had dropped out of school and
formed a band called The Rolling Stones. Unhappy with the name, they
became The Four Jivers, gigging all over the West Side of Chicago.
Before long, Luther Allison was jamming with the West Side's best, including
Otis Rush, and
who encouraged Luther Allison to sing. "That," said Luther Allison,
"was my school." When
began to tour nationally in the early 1960s, Luther Allison took over
band as well as his weekly gigs at Walton's Corner and became one of the
hottest acts on the West Side. For five years, Luther Allison honed his craft.
He moved to California for a year and cut sides with fellow Chicagoans
Shakey Jake Harris and
He cut his first two songs as a leader on the now-classic Delmark anthology,
Sweet Home Chicago, before releasing his first solo album (also on
Delmark), Love Me Mama, a record of hard-hitting blues that spoke to
the growing rock audience. But even before his debut album came out, Luther
Allison landed a headlining spot at the influential Ann Arbor Blues Festival
in 1969, and went from relative unknown to major blues-rock attraction. Luther
Allison signed with Motown Records in 1972 as the label's only blues act. His
three records for the Gordy subsidiary led to numerous concert dates and both
national and international festival appearances, but domestically, interest in
the blues was fading. After finding instant acceptance in Europe, he was
convinced that Paris was the place to be. While he gained superstar status in
Europe and released a dozen European records, his presence in the American
music scene diminished. With the release of Soul Fixin' Man in 1994,
Luther Allison's first domestic album in 20 years, he announced his return.
Continued touring brought Luther Allison before raving fans around the world,
as he brought his band from the San Francisco Blues Festival to New York's
Central Park Summerstage, with all stops in between. With Reckless,
Luther Allison reached even greater heights. Throughout it all, Luther Allison
delivered one show-stopping performance after another. His boundless energy
and fierce guitar attack combined to make him a blues superstar who reached
rock fans like no bluesmen since
Freddie King and
When the news broke that Luther Allison had been diagnosed with inoperable
lung cancer in July of 1997, the blues world was shocked. When he died just
four weeks later on August 12, 1997, they were devastated. Without a doubt,
Luther Allison's death robbed music fans of one of the most exciting and
popular blues performers ever.
Where is Luther Allison's official website?
Please email us!
Visit also these related Sites:
Luther Allison Tribute Pages
Luther Allison tribute page.
Luther Allison tribute page by Jef Jaisun.
Luther Allison tribute page at myspace.com.
Biographical Information on Luther Allison
Luther Allison biography at wikipedia.org.
Luther Allison biography at alligator.com.
Luther Allison biography at rufrecords.de.
Luther Allison biography at blindpigrecords.com.
Luther Allison biography at encyclopediaofarkansas.net.
Luther Allison biography at oafb.net.
Various Articles on Luther Allison
Article by Michael Cloeren.
Article by Gloria Pierce.
Article at gibson.com.
Luther Allison quotes on brainyquote.com.
Article at nytimes.com. Published: August 17, 1997.
Reviews and Critiques of Luther Allison Live Performances and Recordings
Luther Allison @ The Metropolitan, May 5, 1997. Live review by Ray Stiles.
Luther Allison @ The Minnesota Zoo Amphitheater, July 11, 1997. Live review by Deb Brunsberg
CD review by Richard Marcus.
Luther Allison Interviews
Article and interview at bluesaccess.com.
Luther Allison interview at westnet.com.
Luther Allison Lyrics
Lyrics of eight Luther Allison songs.
Lyrics of eight Luther Allison songs.
Luther Allison Discographies
Luther Allison discography at net.unl.edu.
Luther Allison Photos
Eight Luther Allison photos by David L. Pottie.
Luther Allison Audio Files
Luther Allison - Bad Love. MP3 file, runtime 06:23.
Luther Allison - Walking Papers. MP3 file, runtime 06:47.
Luther Allison - Soul Fixin' Man. MP3 file, runtime 04:02.
Luther Allison Videos
Luther Allison - Move from the hood/Watching you. Runtime 15:52.
Luther Allison - A Change Must Come 1985. Runtime 06:22.
Luther Allison - Cherry Red Wine. Runtime 10:14.
Luther Allison - Parking lot. Runtime 10:03.
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