Guitarist Robert Lockwood Jr.

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Scott Simon takes a moment to remember legendary blues guitarist Robert Lockwood Jr.


Blues guitar legend Robert Lockwood Jr. died this week of respiratory failure. He was 91. Robert Lockwood started playing music when he was eight years old on the family pump organ in Turkey Scratch, Arkansas. But it was after his parent's divorced that he got a real education in music. His mother took up with famous bluesman Robert Johnson, who taught him how to play guitar. He became known as Robert Junior Lockwood. By 15, Junior was playing professionally in Delta juke joints. He made his first recordings in 1941. Two of the songs he recorded, "Take a Little Walk With Me" and "Little Boy Blue," would become standards in his set for the next 60 years. He moved to Chicago in the 1950s and worked as a session player for Chess Records and other labels. In 1960, he moved to Cleveland, where he lived the rest of his life playing the blues, but not just because he was in Cleveland.

(Soundbite of song "Little Boy Blue")

Mr. ROBERT LOCKWOOD JUNIOR (Musician): (Singing) The sheeps is in the meadow and the cows in the corn. I got a girl in Chicago, she love to hear me blow my lonesome horn. Little boy blue.

SIMON: Coming up, remembering another music legend, Betty Comden, who put a wonderful town into song.

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