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Joe Guitar Hughes


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Joe “Guitar” Hughes was born in Houston, Texas on September 29, 1937. As a youngster Joe’s main exposure to music came from the radio and records his aunt and stepfather played on the Hughes’ family Victrola. A steady diet of Lightnin’ Hopkins and T-Bone Walker 78’s planted the seed for a future musical career.

Joe always loved singing and early on he sang along with any popular music he’d hear on the radio. His mother encouraged his obvious talent buying him sheet music for country-western tunes, gospel, ballads - any type of music except blues. That’s where she drew the line. Every time she heard him sing the blues he received a severe spanking. Little did she realize that this was precisely the music that Joe would embrace for the rest of his life.

Joe Guitar HughesIn his early teens Joe took a job as a dishwasher for $25 a week and used his first paycheck to buy a guitar, a small white Country-Western model. His mother was less than pleased, having intended to use the money for family groceries.

When Joe learned a handful of songs he got together with a few friends and formed his first band. At the age of 16, Joe linked up with legendary Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, Pat Paterson, Steve Washington, and a guy named “Cornelius” to form the vocal group they called “The Dukes.” Over time, Steve and Cornelius moved on.

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