Song Of The Day: T-Bone Walker – “Strollin’ With Bones” (1950)

Rock guitar pioneer T-Bone Walker was born on this day 107 years ago. Rock’s roots sure go back a long way now. Walker was a protégé of Texas bluesman Blind Lemon Jefferson and made his recording debut in the late 1920s. In the 1940s he developed a new style of blues guitar playing, a style crafted specifically for the newfangled electric guitar. But it was more than his fellow blues musicians who were inspired by his innovations. Listen to this track from 1950, it is astonishing. Listen to his solo at 1:15. The two-string bended notes darting inside and outside the beat, who does that sound like? It sounds like Chuck Berry, who would turn that technique into his own signature six years later. Berry never shied from acknowledging his debt to Walker. He combined Walker’s techniques with his own personal spin on teenage rebellion and set the world on fire.

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