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Robert Lockwood, Jr.

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Information about Robert Lockwood, Jr.

Profile image of Robert Lockwood, Jr.

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Blues Guitarist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown, Black, Gray, Blue
Favorite Food:
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
3/27/1915
Birth Location:
Turkey Scratch, Arkansas

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Blues Guitarist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown, Black, Gray, Blue
Favorite Food:
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
3/27/1915
Birth Location:
Turkey Scratch
See how Robert Lockwood, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Guitarist and blues legend Robert Lockwood, Jr., a native of Turkey Scratch, Arkansas, was born on March 27, 1915. Lockwood, who held honorary doctorates from Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University, received his early education in Arkansas.

Lockwood’s first instrument was the pump organ, which he began to play as a young child; he later learned to play guitar from his stepfather, legendary blues artist Robert Johnson. Lockwood left school and began his professional career at age fifteen, traveling throughout the Mississippi Delta playing in juke joints and parties with Johnson, harpist Sonny Boy Williamson (a.k.a. Rice Miller), Johnny Shines, and others.

Lockwood made his first recordings in 1941 with Doc Clayton on his famous Bluebird Sessions in Aurora, Illinois. Among the four singles made were Take a Little Walk With Me and Little Boy Blue. Later that year, Lockwood returned to Helena, Arkansas, where he hosted a popular live radio broadcast on station KFFA, sponsored by the King Biscuit Company. Lockwood performed in all of the major blues centers, including Memphis, Tennessee, and St. Louis, Missouri; by the early 1950s he was working as one of the top session artists for Chess Records in Chicago.

In the 1960s, Lockwood moved to Cleveland, Ohio, settling down in the Hough community, where he purchased a home and raised his family. Lockwood's solo recording career began in 1970 with the album Steady Rollin’ Man. In the 1980s, Lockwood and longtime friend Johnny Shines recorded three albums.

Lockwood won a number of awards, including the W.C. Handy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album in 1980, and the National Heritage Fellowship Award in 1995. In 1989 Lockwood was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, and in 1998, he was inducted into the Delta Blues Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Mississippi.

Lockwood and his wife Mary lived in Cleveland, Ohio; he passed away on November 21, 2006.

See how Robert Lockwood, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Lockwood, Jr.'s interview, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Robert Lockwood, Jr.'s interview, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. describes his family background in Turkey Scratch, Arkansas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. recalls being taught to play the blues on his grandfather's pump organ
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. describes his schooling in Arkansas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. remembers starting to play guitar at thirteen
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. remembers Robert Johnson
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. talks about the support he received in his early music career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. remembers the uncle who raised him
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. talks about the origins of blues music
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. remembers touring the South with Sonny Boy Williamson II
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. shares his opinion about popular myths regarding blues music
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. talks about his economic circumstances during the Great Depression
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. talks about an ear injury that precluded his military service
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. talks about the sponsorship for blues radio shows
  • Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. explains how music transcends racial discrimination, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. explains how music transcends racial discrimination, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 18 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. lists fellow blues musicians of the 1940s and 1950s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. talks about record labels for blues music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. remembers Elvis Presley's music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. describes characteristics of blues music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. talks about Muddy Waters' music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. describes his unique style of music composition
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. recalls working for Chess Records in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. remembers his international musical tours during the 1960s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. talks about musical genres preceding and influencing the blues
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. lists his family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. describes his life in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. remembers the Hough riots in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. talks about his recordings since 1970
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. talks about his label, Lockwood Records
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. talks about musicians' exploitation by record labels
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. lists his honors and awards
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. talks about Robert Johnson and blues history
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. describes his experience teaching blues music
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. describes his current projects
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. plays a tune
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. describes his family
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. describes his concerns about the exploitation of African American musicians
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. talks about the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. describes his ninetieth birthday plans
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. lists his favorites
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Lockwood, Jr. narrates his photographs