Earl Hooker Biography

Earl Zebedee Hooker, 15 January 1930, Clarksdale, Mississippi, USA, d. 21 April 1970. Hooker’s interest in music was kindled at an early age. A self-taught guitarist, he began his itinerant career as a teenager, and having toured America’s southern states in the company of Robert Nighthawk, Ike Turner and many others, Earl made his first, rudimentary recordings in 1952. The artist followed a sporadic release schedule throughout the 50s, but by the end of the decade Hooker had settled in Chicago where he began a more consistent output. However, his early work was spread over several of the city’s independent outlets, and although undeniably talented, the difficult search for success saw Hooker aping the styles of contemporaries rather than forging one of his own. The guitarist asserted his gifts more fully in the wake of the blues revival and became one of the city’s most highly regarded talents. He made a rare UK television appearance on the pioneering music programme Ready Steady Go!, performed in-concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall and toured Europe with the American Folk-Blues festival. Hooker also completed albums for several specialist labels, and led his own band, Electric Dust, but the tuberculosis against which he had battled throughout his life finally took its toll. Earl Hooker died in a Chicago sanatorium in April 1970.


Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.


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