Home » Uncategorized » Song 2 Day: Boogie Chillen Song 2 Day: Boogie Chillen

John Lee Hooker.

Today’s song from Clarksdale, Mississippi, the birthplace of the blues and rock n’ roll.

Wishing John Lee Hooker happy birthday,  “Boogie Chillen'”, released in 1948, was his first record  and his first hit.  He was 36-years-old when he did it, and the “B” side was “Sally May.”  It hit No. 1 in the U.S. R&B chart in 1949.

Under Hooker’s vocal and guitar, one can hear John Lee’s foot stomps, and his vocal is both spoken-word and some singing.  Boogie Chillen’ was the first deep down home blues song to hit the top of the R&B charts.

Although John Lee was from Clarksdale, his blues did not follow the Delta blues style.  His stepfather, Will Moore (from Louisiana), taught John Lee the piano-driven boogie music style. “Boogie Chillen’” was on a direct path to the emergence of rock n’ roll a few years later, and it’s guitar riff can be found in countless songs that it spawned. Tour de force musicians have been heavily influenced by it, as well, most notably Z.Z. Top and Canned Heat.

“Boogie Chillen’:
by John Lee Hooker

The hand of the blues master himself.

The hand of the blues master himself.

Well, my mama ‘low me just to stay out all night long
Oh, Lord
Well, my mama ‘low me just to stay out all night long
I didn’t care she ‘low, I would boogie anyhow
When I first came to town, people, I was walkin’ down Hastings Street
Everybody was talkin’ about the Henry Swing Club
I decided I drop in there that night
When I got there, I say, “Yes, people”
They was really havin’ a ball
Yes, I know
Boogie Chillen’
One night I was layin’ down
I heard mama and papa talkin’
I heard papa tell mama let that boy boogie-woogie
It’s in him and it got to come out
And I felt so good
Went on boogin’ just the same

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