Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Stars of the Top 100

John Lee Hooker
25" x 14"
oil on wood, 2010
Just when I congratulated myself earlier this month for my oblivion towards musical stars, a few more established names enter the fray. Both John Lee Hooker and Rahsaan Roland Kirk are legends of American music and mainstays in my Top 100. With respectively the purchase of another album and the viewing of a film both make once again the yearly list of one hundred. In my archive over 28 years Hooker and Kirk are #27 and #28 when it comes to points gathered by musicians; 434 for John Lee Hooker, 432 for Roland Kirk. Those ranks make Hooker the highest ranked blues musician but Kirk only the fifth jazz artist. With a bit of free time around the holidays I primed a few surfaces a little bigger than usual and the biggest stars of the Top 100 can now be painted on appropriate sizes. First up is John Lee Hooker, the Mississippi blues man who died a decade ago at age 88. His output is such that to collect all his recordings is a task so epic that it isn't even worth a consideration. I have no ambition towards such an achievement but I will occasionally add to my substantial representation of John Lee Hooker in my record collection. The latest addition is a handsome original LP on a label from Los Angeles called The Great Blues Sounds of John Lee Hooker and my song of choice from it is She Left Me.

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