Vinyl– Earl Lee Hooker’s “The Genius of Earl Lee Hooker”

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“The Genius of Earl Hooker” is a 1968 album by blues guitarist Earl Hooker. A cousin of another blues great, John Lee Hooker, Earl Hooker learned to play the guitar by receiving lessons from his stepfather. His early biography reads like a literary novel in which a young musician overcomes the odds presented by life in the Jim Crow South and medical issues, Hooker’s body of work is impressive not just for the brevity of his life, but for the quality of the work.
Hooker passed away in 1970 after a nearly lifelong struggle with tuberculosis. But Hooker’s legacy is full of albums that display his genius. Toward the end of his life, Hooker’s work took on a jazz bent.
Even though Hooker started out performing on street corners in the early 1940’s, his first album for Cuca Records didn’t get released until 1968. The tracks on the recording date back to 1964 and span until 1967.
While his career began professionally in the 1950’s, “The Genius of Earl Hooker” is critically regarded as the album to own. Comprised of instrumentals and an early exploration of funk, “The Genius of Earl Hooker” is a sonic treasure for blues fans. It is available today in the LemonWire store.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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