Theodore Roosevelt “Hound Dog” Taylor (April 12, 1915 - December 17, 1975) was an American blues guitarist and singer. Taylor was best known for his raw vocal style and searing slide guitar, using a cheap Teisco guitar to great advantage.
Named after President Theodore Roosevelt, Mississippi-native Taylor took up the guitar when he was 20 years old. He made a few appearances on Sonny Boy Williamson’s fabled KFFA King Biscuit Time radio broadcasts out of Helena, AR, before coming to Chicago in 1942. It was another 15 years before Taylor made blues his full-time vocation, though. Taylor was a favorite on the South and West sides during the late 50s and early 60s. It’s generally accepted that Freddie King copped a good portion of his classic “Hide Away” from an instrumental he heard Taylor cranking out on the bandstand.
Hound Dog Taylor’s relentlessly raucous band, the HouseRockers, consisted of only two men, though their combined racket sounded like quite a few more. Second guitarist Brewer Phillips, who often supplied buzzing pseudo-bass lines on his guitar, had developed such an empathy with Taylor that their guitars intertwined with ESP-like force, while drummer Ted Harvey kept everything moving along at a brisk pace.
Taylor began playing guitar when he was 20 and became a full-time musician around 1957. He wasn’t well known outside of the Chicago area until his debut album, Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers, with Alligator Records in 1971. The LP contained the typically rowdy Give Me Back My Wig while Taylor’s first Alligator encore in 1973, Natural Boogie, boasted the hypnotic Sadie and a stomping Roll Your Moneymaker.
His fourth Alligator album, Beware of the Dog, was recorded live in 1974 but only released after his death. Hound Dog Taylor died of cancer in 1975 and was buried in the Restvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1984.
Edited by 3_teller_bitte on 25 Jul 2013, 12:26
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