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Shout! Factory Honors Master Bluesman John Lee Hooker with First-Ever Career Box Set: 'Hooker'

SOURCE: Published:
Deluxe 4-CD Set Represents A Half Century Of Blues And Boogie

Includes Performances with Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Van Morrison, Ry Cooder, Jimmie Vaughan, Charles Brown and Los Lobos

In Stores October 31

LOS ANGELES - John Lee Hooker, master bluesman and undisputed father of boogie, recorded for more than 30 labels over a span of nearly 50 years. Amazingly, he has never had a definitive career box set - until now. On October 31, 2006, Shout! Factory will release Hooker, a 4-CD set that culls material from all eras - from a primitive 1948 recording of “Boogie Chillen'" to a version of the same song recorded exactly 50 years later in 1998 with Eric Clapton.

The set was compiled by Shawn Amos and Patrick Milligan with invaluable assistance from Zakiya Hooker, Executor-Trustee and Eugene Skuratowicz, Estate Manager of the John Lee Hooker Estate. Music journalist Ted Drozdowski wrote comprehensive liner notes, which delve into Hooker's Mississippi and African influences, and follow his career through its many achievements and accolades up to his death in 2001. In addition, Van Morrison, Carlos Santana and Fito de la Parra, the surviving member of Canned Heat, provided additional notes recalling their respective collaborations with Hooker, highlights of which appear on the 4-CD set.

Born in 1917 to Mississippi sharecroppers, John Lee Hooker first heard blues on a wind-up Victrola and on KFFA-FM in nearby Helena, Ark. His parents were convinced that blues was the music of the devil and insisted that he practice in the barn. His stepfather, Louisiana guitarist Will Moore, brought John Lee in contact with what annotator Drozdowski calls the “rolling, mesmeric beat" of Shreveport blues, “which had more in common with the ancestral African origins of the music than the Delta sound." He was also inspired by Delta blues forebears Blind Lemon Jefferson and Charley Patton.

Hooker migrated to Memphis, and then to Detroit, where he supported himself and his family playing rent parties, the inspiration for his John L.'s House Rent Boogie album in 1951. A rough acetate recording fell into the hands of local producer Bernie Besman, launching his recording career and leading to a series of 78s and 45s on labels like Fortune, Modern, King, Staff, Regal, Deluxe, Chess, Crown, Vee-Jay and Sensation. He recorded under several noms du disque: John Lee Cooker, John Lee Booker, Texas Slim, Birmingham Sam & His Magic Guitar, Johnny Williams, Delta John and Sir John Lee Hooker.

In the late '60s, Hooker's audience began to include white fans. Boogie disciples Canned Heat brought him to the attention of their fan base with the 1970 double album Hooker 'N Heat. Hooker achieved legendary status, and went on to make a series of albums for ABC BluesWay, Impulse, Tomato, Pausa, Chameleon and Virgin/Pointblank. 1989's The Healer, which included collaborations with Carlos Santana and Bonnie Raitt, earned him a Grammy and brought him to the attention of a new generation of fans.

“I hope this set will introduce John Lee Hooker to a new generation of fans, and reintroduce him to those who might have forgotten," says Shout! Factory A&R head Shawn Amos. “It shows how much gravitas he held in his presence, and even in a single note of his playing."

Zakyia Hooker, John Lee Hooker's daughter, adds, “I think this is phenomenal, to have all of my father's music pulled together. It cuts through a really wide swath of music, from music recorded at a 1949 house party and an old acoustic spiritual, to his later music. The music was all over the place until Shout! Factory pulled it together for the edification of everyone - and they did so in a beautiful package. My father would have been smiling."

About Shout! Factory:

Shout! Factory is a diversified entertainment company devoted to producing, uncovering and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their careers sharing their music, television and film faves with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory's DVD offerings serve up classic, contemporary and cult TV series, riveting sports programs, live music, animation and documentaries in lavish packages crammed with extras. The company's audio catalogue boasts GRAMMY-nominated boxed sets, new releases from storied artists, lovingly assembled album reissues and indispensable “best of" compilations. These riches are the result of a creative acquisitions mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Santa Monica, Calif. Its fine products are distributed by Sony BMG Music Entertainment Inc. For more on Shout! Factory, visit www.shoutfactory.com.

TRACK LISTING: Disc One: 1. Boogie Chillen' 2. Sally Mae 3. Black Man Blues - Texas Slim 4. Hobo Blues 5. Hoogie Boogie 6. Weeping Willow Boogie 7. Crawlin' King Snake 8. Driftin' From Door To Door 9. Catfish Blues 10. Moses Smote The Water 11. Huckle Up Baby 12. Wandering Blues - Texas Slim 13. Don't You Remember Me - Texas Slim 14. Notoriety Woman 15. Let Your Daddy Ride 16. John L's House Rent Boogie 17. Bumble Bee Blues - Johnny Williams 18. Leave My Wife Alone - John Lee Booker 19. Just Me And My Telephone 20. I'm In The Mood 21. Blues For Big Town 22. Stuttering Blues - John Lee Booker 23. Down Child 24. Boogie Rambler 25. Baby You Ain't No Good 26. I'm Ready

Disc Two: 1. Dimples 2. Every Night 3. I'm So Excited 4. I Love You Honey] 5. Tupelo Blues 6. I Need Some Money 7. Democrat Man 8. No More Doggin' 9. Gonna Use My Rod 10. Whiskey And Wimmen 11. No Shoes 12. We're All God's Chillun 13. I'm Goin' Upstairs 14. Teachin' The Blues 15. You Lost A Good Man 16. Don't Turn Me From Your Door 17. When My First Wife Quit Me 18. Boom Boom 19. She's Mine 20. Frisco Blues 21. Let's Make It (Live) 22. Birmingham Blues 23. Big Legs Tight Skirt 24. It Serves Me Right To Suffer 25. I'm Losin' You 26. I Cover The Waterfront



Disc Three: 1. One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer 2. Let's Go Out Tonight 3. Bottle Up And Go 4. King Of The World (Live) 5. I'm Bad Like Jesse James (Live) 6. Think Twice Before You Go 7. Mean Mean Woman 8. Burning Hell - John Lee Hooker & Canned Heat 9. Peavine - John Lee Hooker & Canned Heat 10. I Got My Eyes On You - John Lee Hooker & Canned Heat 11. Doin' The Shout 12. Bluebird 13. Early One Morning 14. We'll Meet Again 15. Loving People

Disc Four: 1. Baby Lee - John Lee Hooker & Robert Cray 2. I'm In The Mood - John Lee Hooker & Bonnie Raitt 3. The Healer - John Lee Hooker & Carlos Santana 4. Mr. Lucky - John Lee Hooker & Robert Cray 5. I Cover The Waterfront - John Lee Hooker & Van Morrison 6. This Is Hip - John Lee Hooker & Ry Cooder 7. Bottle Up And Go - John Lee Hooker & John Hammond 8. Same Old Blues Again - John Lee Hooker & Robert Cray 9. Boom Boom - John Lee Hooker & Jimmie Vaughan 10. Chill Out (Things Gonna Change) - John Lee Hooker & Carlos Santana 11. Tupelo 12. Kiddio - John Lee Hooker & Charles Brown 13. Dimples - John Lee Hooker & Los Lobos 14. Don't Look Back - John Lee Hooker & Van Morrison 15. Up And Down 16. Mean Mean World 17. Boogie Chillen' - John Lee Hooker & Eric Clapton


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