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Hound Dog Taylor & the House Rockers

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Mississippi, United States (1915 – 1975)

Theodore Roosevelt “Hound Dog” Taylor (April 12, 1915 - December 17, 1975) was an American guitarist and singer. Taylor was best known for his raw vocal style and searing , 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 and early . 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.

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.

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