Phillip Walker

Last updated

Phillip Walker
Phillip Walker at the Long Beach Blues Festival, 2000
Background information
Born(1937-02-11)February 11, 1937
Welsh, Louisiana, United States
DiedJuly 22, 2010(2010-07-22) (aged 73)
Palm Springs, California, U.S.
Genres Electric blues [1]
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1953–2010

Phillip Walker (February 11, 1937 – July 22, 2010) [2] was an American electric blues guitarist, [1] most noted for his 1959 hit single, "Hello My Darling", produced by J. R. Fulbright. Although Walker continued playing throughout his life, he recorded more sparsely.

Electric blues refers to any type of blues music distinguished by the use of electric amplification for musical instruments. The guitar was the first instrument to be popularly amplified and used by early pioneers T-Bone Walker in the late 1930s and John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters in the 1940s. Their styles developed into West Coast blues, Detroit blues, and post-World War II Chicago blues, which differed from earlier, predominantly acoustic-style blues. By the early 1950s, Little Walter was a featured soloist on blues harmonica or blues harp using a small hand-held microphone fed into a guitar amplifier. Although it took a little longer, the electric bass guitar gradually replaced the stand-up bass by the early 1960s. Electric organs and especially keyboards later became widely used in electric blues.

Sound recording and reproduction recording of sound and playing it back

Sound recording and reproduction is an electrical, mechanical, electronic, or digital inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice, singing, instrumental music, or sound effects. The two main classes of sound recording technology are analog recording and digital recording.


Life and career

Walker grew up in Texas and learned to play guitar in his teens in Houston. He worked with Lonesome Sundown and Lonnie Brooks, and briefly joined Clifton Chenier's band in the 1950s. [3] By the 1960s he was in a R&B band in Los Angeles with his wife Ina, who used the stage name Bea Bopp. [3] His album Bottom of the Top was released by Playboy in 1973. Further albums were released on Black Top, Hightone, JSP, Joliet, and Rounder Records. [3]

Texas State of the United States of America

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast.

Houston City in Texas, United States

Houston is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas, fourth most populous city in the United States, as well as the sixth most populous in North America, with an estimated 2018 population of 2,328,419. Located in Southeast Texas near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is the seat of Harris County and the principal city of the Greater Houston metropolitan area, which is the fifth most populous metropolitan statistical area in the United States and the second most populous in Texas after the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, with a population of 6,997,384 in 2018.

Cornelius Green III, known professionally as Lonesome Sundown, was an American blues musician, best known for his recordings for Excello Records in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Walker was also known for his variety of styles and the changes he would often make for each album. Not until 1969 did he begin to record more regularly when he joined with producer Bruce Bromberg. Since then, fans had a more steady supply of Walker's music.

Bruce Bromberg is an American Grammy Award winning producer of blues music.

Fan (person) person who is enthusiastically devoted to something or someone

A fan, or fanatic, sometimes also termed aficionado or supporter, is a person who is enthusiastically devoted to something or somebody, such as a singer or band, a sport or a sports team, a genre, a politician, a book, a movie or an entertainer. Collectively, the fans of a particular object or person constitute its fanbase or fandom. They may show their enthusiasm in a variety of ways, such as by promoting the object of their interest, being members of a fan club, holding or participating in fan conventions, or writing fan mail. They may also engage in creative activities such as creating fanzines, writing fan fiction, making memes or drawing fan art.

He appeared on show 237 of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour in 2002 when Live at Biscuits & Blues had just been released.

The WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour was created, is produced, and is hosted by folksinger Michael Johnathon. The WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour is an all volunteer run non-profit organization, and is a worldwide multimedia celebration of grassroots music filmed in front of a live audience. WoodSongs is not a concert, but a one-hour musical conversation focusing on the artists and their music. The WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour began in 1998 in a small studio that sat only 20 people. It was recorded on a cassette tape that had to be turned over half way through the broadcast, and was picked up by one radio station, WRVG in Georgetown, Kentucky. In 1999 WoodSongs moved to a 150 seat room at the Lexington Public Library. After selling out 50 shows in a row, the broadcast was moved in 2000 to the Kentucky Theatre where it stayed until January 2013 when it moved to the 540 seat Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center. By 2005 WoodSongs was being aired on 320 radio stations, and by 2013 509 radio stations across North America and Internationally. The radio program is available to both noncommercial and commercial radio stations, one of the few widely distributed radio programs in the United States to be offered to both types of stations. This does not include the addition of the American Forces Network which broadcasts it in 173 nations, to over 1 million listeners worldwide, and every US Naval ship at sea. In Kentucky, KET (PBS) public television airs the show several times a week. It is distributed to public television stations by the National Educational Telecommunications Association. Commercial cable/satellite network RFD-TV also carries the series. The WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour produces 1 show a week for 44 weeks every Monday evening at the Lyric Theatre in Lexington, Kentucky, and has produced over 750 broadcasts that have aired worldwide.

Walker's final studio release is Going Back Home (2007) on Delta Groove Productions.

Delta Groove Productions is an American blues record label in Van Nuys, California, United States. The label was founded by Randy Chortkoff, a producer, concert promoter, and harmonica player.


On July 22, 2010, Delta Groove Productions issued an email statement regarding Walker's death: "It is with deepest sorrow that we report on the sudden and unexpected passing of legendary blues guitarist Phillip Walker. He died of apparent heart failure at 4:30 AM, early Thursday morning, July 22, 2010. He was 73 years old." [4]


Related Research Articles

Rod Piazza American musician

Rod Piazza is an American blues harmonica player and singer. He has been playing with his band The Mighty Flyers since 1980 which he formed with his pianist wife Honey Piazza. Their boogie sound combines the styles of jump blues, West Coast blues and Chicago blues.

Pinetop Perkins American blues pianist

Joe Willie "Pinetop" Perkins was an American blues pianist. He played with some of the most influential blues and rock-and-roll performers of his time and received numerous honors, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the Blues Hall of Fame.

Joe Louis Walker Blues musician

Joe Louis Walker, also known as JLW is an American musician, best known as an electric blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer. His knowledge of blues history is revealed by his use of older material and playing styles.

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown American blues musician

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown was an American musician from Louisiana and Texas known for his work as a blues musician, as well as other styles of music. He spent his career fighting purism by synthesizing old blues, country, jazz, Cajun music and R&B styles. His work also encompasses rock and roll, rock music, folk music, electric blues, and Texas blues.

Lonnie Pitchford was an American blues musician and instrument maker from Lexington, Mississippi, United States. He was notable in that he was one of only a handful of young African American musicians from Mississippi who had learned and was continuing the Delta blues and country blues traditions of the older generations.

Lonnie Brooks American blues singer and guitarist

Lonnie Brooks was an American blues singer and guitarist. The musicologist Robert Palmer, writing in Rolling Stone, stated, "His music is witty, soulful and ferociously energetic, brimming with novel harmonic turnarounds, committed vocals and simply astonishing guitar work." Jon Pareles, a music critic for the New York Times, wrote, "He sings in a rowdy baritone, sliding and rasping in songs that celebrate lust, fulfilled and unfulfilled; his guitar solos are pointed and unhurried, with a tone that slices cleanly across the beat. Wearing a cowboy hat, he looks like the embodiment of a good-time bluesman." Howard Reich, a music critic for the Chicago Tribune, wrote, "...the music that thundered from Brooks' instrument and voice...shook the room. His sound was so huge and delivery so ferocious as to make everything alongside him seem a little smaller."

Leroy Carr American blues singer, songwriter and pianist

Leroy Carr was an American blues singer, songwriter and pianist who developed a laid-back, crooning technique and whose popularity and style influenced such artists as Nat King Cole and Ray Charles. He first became famous for "How Long, How Long Blues", released by Vocalion Records in 1928.

Lonnie Smith (jazz musician) Jazz organist and pianist

Lonnie Smith, styled Dr. Lonnie Smith, is an American jazz Hammond B3 organist who was a member of the George Benson quartet in the 1960s. He recorded albums with saxophonist Lou Donaldson for Blue Note before being signed as a solo act. He owns the label Pilgrimage.

Frank Frost American delta blues harmonica player

Frank Otis Frost was one of the foremost American Delta blues harmonica players of his generation.

Wayne Baker Brooks is an American blues and blues-rock guitarist and singer.

Otis Grand American blues musician

Otis Grand is an American blues musician, best known for his album, Perfume and Grime (1996).

Houston Stackhouse was an American Delta blues guitarist and singer. He is best known for his association with Robert Nighthawk. He was not especially noted as a guitarist or singer, but Nighthawk showed gratitude to Stackhouse, his guitar teacher, by backing him on a number of recordings in the late 1960s. Apart from a brief tour in Europe, Stackhouse confined his performing to the area around the Mississippi Delta.

John Thurman Hunter Jr., known by the stage name Long John Hunter, was an American Texas blues and electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He released seven albums in his own name, and in his later years found critical acknowledgement outside of his homeland. Hunter's best known tracks are "El Paso Rock" and "Alligators Around My Door", the latter of which Hunter co-wrote with Bruce Iglauer.

Ronnie Baker Brooks is an American Chicago blues and soul blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He was a respected club performer in Chicago, before recording three solo albums for Watchdog Records. The son of fellow Chicago blues musician Lonnie Brooks, he is the brother of another blues guitarist, Wayne Baker Brooks.

Mike Wheeler (musician) American blues songwriter and guitarist

Mike Wheeler is a Chicago blues songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist. His first gig was with Muddy Waters' piano player, Lovie Lee. He performed with numerous Chicago bands and well-known artists such as Koko Taylor, Buddy Guy, and Shemekia Copeland. He formed his own band, the Mike Wheeler Band, in 2001.His CD, Self Made Man, was released by Delmark Records in 2012 with critical acclaim. He was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2014. He is a regular performer at the famed Chicago blues club, Kingston Mines.

Lonnie Shields is an American electric blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist. His primary influence was B.B. King. He has released six albums to date, and one publication described his music as "bewitching, funk-influenced variations on the oldest country blues".


  1. 1 2 Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music (1st ed.). Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. p. 181. ISBN   1-904041-96-5.
  2. "Biography". Retrieved 2014-05-28.
  3. 1 2 3 Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues – From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray . Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. p. 180. ISBN   1-85868-255-X.
  4. "Phillip Walker, Blues Guitarist, Dies at 73". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-05-28.