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Sweet Home Chicago

Robert Jr. Lockwood


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A Link to Robert Johnson


Nighty-one year old blues legend and N.E.A. Recipient Robert Lockwood, Jr. plays live on stage at the Palace Theatre in Grapevine, Texas.

Robert Lockwood was playing professionally at parties in the Helena area by the age of fifteen. He often played at fish fries, juke joints, and street corners throughout the Mississippi Delta in the 1930s with his stepfather Robert Johnson, and also occasionally with Sonny Boy Williamson II or Johnny Shines.

In 1941, Lockwood made his first recordings with Doctor Clayton for the Bluebird label in Aurora, Illinois. During these same sessions, he also recorded the four songs which were released as the first two singles under his own name, which were early versions of his staple repertoire. These recordings were released as 78s on Bluebird Records. The same year he and Rice Miller aka Sonny Boy Williamson II were featured on the first King Biscuit Time radio program on KFFA in Helena, Arkansas. For several years in the early 1940s the pair played together in and around Helena and continued to be associated with King Biscuit Time. From about 1944 to 1949 Lockwood played in West Memphis, Arkansas, St. Louis, Chicago and Memphis. He would also serve as an influence for B. B. King early in his career playing with King's band in Memphis.

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