Shout! Factory to re-issue two albums from Jimmy Reed and John Lee Hooker

Shout! Factory will re-issue two ground-breaking blues albums this November 13, Jimmy Reed’s ‘At Carnegie Hall’ and John Lee Hooker’s ‘I’m John Lee Hooker’ – both currently out of print.

Originally produced by Calvin Carter of Vee-Jay, Jimmy Reed’s ‘At Carnegie Hall’ is a double album that was actually recorded at Bell Sound in Manhattan and Chicago’s Universal Recording.

The musicians featured on the album alongside Reed include his longtime companions Mary “Mama” Reed (Jimmy’s wife) and guitarist Eddie Taylor, as well as Willie Dixon on bass.

‘At Carnegie Hall’ became a benchmark for other musicians in America and England, including Elvis Presley, who covered “Baby What You Want Me To Do,” and Aretha Franklin and The Rolling Stones, who each cut “Honest I Do.” Two other cuts on the album, “Bright Lights Big City,” and “Big Boss Man” were honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as two of the 500 songs that laid the genre’s foundations.

Signed to the fledgling Vee-Jay label, Mississippi-born Reed quickly found success as a dazzling blues performer full of energy and raw emotion, and went on to become the best-selling blues artist of his day. Reed famously battled and overcame alcoholism shortly before his death in 1976.

John Lee Hooker’s ‘I’m John Lee Hooker’ is a compilation of the initial sides that Hooker cut for Vee-Jay, and was originally released in 1959. By the time Vee-Jay Records released the album, the Mississippi Delta-born Hooker had already enjoyed a lengthy, illustrious career and had recorded for several labels, often under aliases such as Texas Slim and Delta John.

With his core sound – raw, elemental and driven by a primitive rhythmic groove and one-chord style – Hooker cast a mesmerizing spell over listeners.  On the Vee-Jay versions of “Hobo Blues,” “Boogie Chillun” and “Crawlin’ King Snake,” Hooker can be heard pounding out his distinctive rhythms with his feet.

“I don’t like no fancy chords. Just the boogie. The drive. The feeling,” Hooker once said of his style. “A lot of people play fancy but they don’t have no style. It’s a deep feeling – you just can’t stop listening to that sad blues sound. My sound.” 

Hooker’s characteristic sound and legacy has survived his 2001 death and continues to live on, as he once predicted it would.

Earlier this year Shout! Factory released the ‘Vee-Jay: The Definitive Collection’ box set; as well as four new compilations of music by Jimmy Reed, Jerry Butler, The Dells and The Staple Singers, all titled Best Of The Vee-Jay Years.

Founded on just a $500 pawnbroker loan and quickly transformed into one of the most famous black-owned businesses in history – the Vee-Jay records story is that of legend. Vee-Jay was an early home to such diverse legends as Little Richard, John Lee Hooker, Memphis Slim, Hoyt Axton, Dee Clark, The Four Seasons, Betty Everett, and The Beatles.
 
Shout! Factory is a diversified entertainment company devoted to producing, uncovering and revitalizing the very best of pop culture – The Stuff You Grew Up On But Never Outgrew.  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 and lovingly assembled album reissues. 

These riches are the result of a creative acquisitions mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. 

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.

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