Special Sub-Topic: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Big Joe Turner
|Big Joe Turner owed much success to his early singing career when he was a singing bartender. The bar patrons took to calling Turner by the name The Singing Barman. In which city did Turner get his start?|
Kansas City, Missouri. Like many performers of the era, Turner began singing in his church in Kansas City, Missouri. Once he started singing while working as a bartender, he was so popular that when the police would raid clubs he was working in, the bar owners would have him bailed out before he was even booked into jail.
|Which incredible piano player did Big Joe Turner form a partnership with in the early 1930s?|
Pete Johnson. These were all influential piano players of the early to mid 1900s. Each brought something very unique to their individual styles. Pete Johnson was one of the innovators of the boogie-woogie style of piano playing that would be an integral part of early rock and roll. Johnson was active in music in the decades of the 30s, 40 and 50s. He passed away in 1967.
|Which nickname did Big Joe Turner respond to?|
The Boss of the Blues. Big Joe Turner was born Joseph Vernon Turner in 1911. He quickly became known as Big Joe due to his large size, and his booming voice. Big Joe weighed in at well over 250 pounds and stood at 6'2" tall.
|This song, written by Atlantic Records staff writer Jesse Stone (writing under the name Charles E. Calhoun) was the signature song for Big Joe Turner. The song was originally recorded in February of 1954.|
Shake, Rattle and Roll. Many people are probably more familiar with the watered down version of "Shake, Rattle and Roll" that Bill Haley and His Comets ran up the charts, but my favorite version belongs to Big Joe. Elvis Presley also recorded a great version of the song in 1956. There have been literally hundreds of artists to cover this song over the years. Everyone from Conway Twitty and Patsy Cline all the way to Count Basie and even Tom Petty have performed this song.
|The B.B. King classic song, "The Thrill is Gone" was originally recorded by Big Joe Turner.|
f. Not "The Thrill is Gone", but "Sweet Sixteen". Big Joe Turner recorded "Sweet Sixteen" in 1951 while in New York. "Sweet Sixteen" became a signature hit for B.B. King when he lended his stylings to the song.
|Which person was responsible for getting Big Joe Turner to New York, a move that proved to be instrumental in propelling Big Joe's career to new heights?|
John Hammond Sr.. John Hammond brought Turner and Pete Johnson to New York to play a set of dates at The Famous Door, a popular night club of the era. Two years later, the Turner/Johnson duo found themselves back in New York, at Hommond's request, to play on Benny Goodman's radio show, "Carmel Caravan".
|What was the first single Big Joe Turner released when he joined Atlantic Records?|
Chain of Love. "Chain of Love" brought huge success to Turner and Atlantic Records. The song spent 25 weeks on the Billboard R&B charts, including a four week run at number two.
|One of Big Joe Turner's greatest breaks came at a time when he really needed to revitalize his career. Which artist dropped out of Count Basie's band, leaving a spot for Big Joe to shine?|
Jimmy Rushing. Jimmy Rushing was known as "Mister Five by Five" due to his short height and wide girth. He was front man for Count Baise for 15 years from 1935 to 1950 before Big Joe got his turn.
Big Joe took the opportunity to sing with Basie, an opportunity he had turned down in 1936. While performing at the Apollo Theater with Basie, Atlantic Records brass Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson were in attendance. After the show, the duo approached Turner and offered him a contract.
|Who played guitar on the Big Joe Turner hits "Well All Right", "Flip, Flop, And Fly", "Hide And Seek" and "Morning, Noon, And Night"? |
Elmore James. Had Elmore James not died early of heart failure, you would certainly be speaking of Elmore James in the same breath as Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and B.B. King. The song "The Sky is Crying", as made popular by Stevie Ray Vaughan and others, was an original Elmore James number.
|Wynonie Harris and Big Joe Turner had a friendly rivalry during the 1940s. They once released a duet together on the Aladdin label. What was the name of the song?|
Battle of the Blues. Wynonie Harris left Omaha, NE and headed for Los Angeles in 1940, He had a great respect for Big Joe, and when he got the chance to record a song with him, he jumped at the chance. The two composed "Battle of the Blues", a two-sided single, together for Aladdin. These two men, both regarded as "blues shouters", provided a very powerful vocal performance on the single.
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