Alexis Korner

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Alexis Korner (19 April 1928 — 1 January 1984) was a pioneering blues musician and radio broadcaster who has sometimes been referred to as "the Founding Father of British Blues"[who?]. A major influence on the sound of the British music scene in the 1960s,[1] Korner was instrumental in bringing together various English blues musicians.


Early career

Alexis Andrew Nicholas Koerner was born in Paris to an Austrian father and Greek mother, and spent his childhood in France, Switzerland, and North Africa. He arrived in London in 1940 at the start of the Second World War. One memory of his youth was listening to a record by black pianist Jimmy Yancey during a German air raid. He said, "From then on all I wanted to do was play the blues."[2]

After the war, he played piano and guitar (his first guitar was built by friend and author Sydney Hopkins, who wrote Mister God, This Is Anna), and in 1949 joined Chris Barber's Jazz Band where he met blues harmonica player Cyril Davies. They started playing together as a duo, formed the influential London Blues and Barrelhouse Club in 1955, and made their first record together in 1957. Korner brought many American blues artists, previously unknown in England, to perform.[citation needed]

The 1960s

In 1961, Korner and Davies formed Blues Incorporated, initially a loose-knit group of musicians with a shared love of electric blues and R&B music. The group included, at various times, such influential musicians as Charlie Watts, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Long John Baldry, Graham Bond, Danny Thompson and Dick Heckstall-Smith. It also attracted a wider crowd of mostly younger fans, some of whom occasionally performed with the group, including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Rod Stewart, John Mayall and Jimmy Page.[citation needed]

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