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Alexis Korner

From Academic Kids

Alexis Korner (April 19, 1928 - January 1, 1984), was an English blues musician. Though he was a proficient guitarist and singer himself, Korner is probably better known as a networker and blues historian.

Often referred to as "the father of British blues", he was instrumental in various English blues musicians, such as John Mayall as well as Brian Jones, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, who went on to form the Rolling Stones.

He also brought previously unknown American blues artists to England to perform. There is an apocryphal story that the Rolling Stones went to stay at Korner's house late one night, in the early '60s, after a performance. They entered in the accepted way, by climbing in through the kitchen window, to find Muddy Waters' band sleeping on the kitchen floor.

Always a blues purist, Korner criticised better-known British blues musicians, during the blues boom of the late '60s, for their blind adherence to Chicago blues, as if the music came in no other form.

Ironically, he would have his greatest commercial success in the early 1970s with a jazz-rock band called CCS, who would have a single hit with an instrumental version of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love". This version was used for many years as the theme music for the television show Top Of The Pops.

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