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Junior Wells (Official) Tickets, Tour Dates and %{concertOrShowText}
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About Junior Wells (Official)

MR. JUNIOR WELLS! by Linda Cunningham Junior Wells saw the blues go through many transformations. His interpretive ability with the harmonica and his sense of phrasing gave him a special bluesy quality. This man, this legend, not only made a great contribution to the blues, he had his own sound and style that was effective for him instrumentally and vocally as well. This virtuoso was all that and more; he was an original for his style of playing that was unsurpassed in every way. Junior was a man with one vision, rich with tradition and pride in his soul keeping the blues alive. Here is how he felt in his own words: What is your full name? Amos Blakemore Wells Jr. When is your birthday? I was born December 9, 1934. Where were you born at? In Arkansas. What music did you listen to growing up? The music that I really listened to was a thing like, I thought when I went by a Sanctified Church called St. Paul's in Arkansas, I thought they was playing the blues. I did not know that it was a preaching type thing, but I went by there and I saw it so I went in. You know how the Sanctified Church is with guitars and all that stuff like that and drums and stuff. I went way down front to make sure I got close to what they was doing. So, I told mama; I said, "I know what I want to be now." She said, "What's you wanna be now?" I said, "I want to be a blues player." And she said, "How do you know?" I said, "Cause I was over there at the blues joint." She said, "What?" And I said, "Over at St. Paul's." She said, "That's not a blues joint, you was in a Sanctified Church." So this is when I found out about what I had did. But I know one thing, I know what I felt about that part of it and I know blues and the Sanctified Church is no different except the religion type thing. You know what I mean? I don't think it's no better, I know this is a church and the other one is the same thing, but it's a blues thing as far as I'm concerned. What about the blues? It's to say; when I was growing up, I was such a young kid about the thing. I really didn't know what I was actually listening to at first. I know that when I did, I was listening to them from Randy's Record Shop in Tenn. I was living in Arkansas, and when I really got myself together I went to Chicago in 1941. Who taught you how to play the harmonica? I taught myself. I also learned one thing, that don't nobody owe me nothing. I owe everybody something, and I always will do one thing, I don't want to disrespect and I will not. I don't care what it is; I just want to be one thing at all times. I want to be there if they say, "Jr. will you help me do this here." I'm there to help ou if I can. When did you get your first harmonica? Put it this way, the first harp I had only cost thirty-five cent, you could get 'em for fifty cents, it depended on what you wanted. Hohner ws more expensive than the American Ace and you bought then at the Rexall Drug Stores. The first harp I had was an American Ace, which is the cheapest harp you could ever buy in your life. Do you play only Lee Oskar harmonicas? I like Lee Oskar harmonicas and Hohner. Do you play any other instruments? I try to play alittle guitar. I try to play alittle keyboard. I play alittle drum. I just one person; I play the harmonica and that's it. When did you do your first recording? I did my first recording when I was about fifteen or sixteen years old. Do you remember with what label? I think it was United. That's when I first did the "Hoodoo Man Blues." Tell me about recording "Hoodoo Man Blues." The one I did was when I was sixteen years old. I did that one on United on a 78. Al Vincent was the disc jockey in Chicago and they had taken the record over to him and asked him to play it. I said, "I only have twenty-five dollars, so would you just play it for me just one time." They gave him the twenty-five dollars; he throwed it on the floor, took the record and throwed it on the floor and stomped on it. I picked that shit up and got the hell out of there with it. That's when I didn't want to do that particular tune anymore; until I met Bob Koester. Bob wanted me to come up and do a recording for him; he wanted me to do the "Hoodoo Man." I said, "I don't want to do the "Hoodoo Man." I said, "I don't want nothing to do with it, I'm not messin' and if you want me to record, I'm gonna record. If you don't, the hell with it. I'll get the hell out of here now." We was doing our own thing and Buddy's amplifier had went out. They didn't have a spare one, so they had taken Buddy's guitar and hooked it up into the Hammond organ speaker. So, this is when we got the sound for everything by him playing, and I heard it. I didn't think anything about it, cause I wasn't interested in it. Buddy was saying, "Hey Jr., listen to this sound, try this sound." I said, "What?" He said he was doing "Hoodoo Man" changes. I was singing the thing and boom, boom. I didn't know it was being recorded. So, we got through, finishing whatever we had did and Bob Koester said, "Jr., could I play something for you?" I said, "You already played it." He said, "No, I got another thing I want to play back for you and you won't get mad about it?" I said, "What is it?" He said, "Promise me you won't get mad." And I said, "Even if I say I promise you; I'll stick to what I said. Yeah, I promise." Boom, here come "Hoodoo Man" and when I heard it, it was in an entirely different sound. I felt more feeling in my heart and things I did from the first one; because I was such a young man. My voice was more mature and the music was an entirely different thing, and I'm more proud of it now. Mr. Bob Koester on his birthday in Chicago, wanted me to play at his party. He had other people that had recorded for him and some that were still on his label. He said that the only reason that Delmark is open today is because of the "Hoodoo Man" LP. It made me feel so good. Did you go AWOL from the Army to record "Hoodoo Man"? No, I went AWOL and I didn't have anything to do with the "Hoodoo Man." What year was that? I went in the service in 1953 and I got out in 1955. That is when I started back playing with Muddy Waters. You use to blow through an amp and you had some great sounds out of it, why don't you blow through an amp anymore? Because I can't find the amplifier I want. They don't make amplifiers like they use to. Today you have more of a cabinet than you have an amplifier, and it's just in the way. It takes up a lot of space in what you have to do about when you travel and things like that. So, I prefer not to have it. I got amplifiers, I got one amplifier that I like, my Mesa Boogie. Does harp playing bring as much joy to you now, as it did when you were younger? It does, but I think I was more excited because I was trying to push alittle issue. I do know one thing, it doesn't mean because you're more mature about a thing as of today, you still get excited and I do, I do. It's because of one thing, it's always a challenge. I don't want to forget nothing. Do you ever go back and listen to any of your old albums? Well, I do when I get a chance. Which one of your songs has emerged as your favorite? "Today I Started Loving You Again." Do you have to work on your vocals? Sometimes, you just can't keep on going over the same thing over and over again every night. It gets a little weak; it got so weak in Europe one time I had to regroup. I came back to the United States; I didn't know what was wrong with my own individual self. I didn't know what I had, I knew I had bronchitis before in Africa. That is what I thought I had till I got back to Chicago and went to the Dr. They took an x-ray of my lungs and my lung had collapsed. The only thing was that I didn't have bronchitis; I had pneumonia. It will never happen no more though, cause I know better now. I know what I'm supposed to do. When you sing, what do you want the audience to feel? I'm not trying to get them to feel anything. I want them to know one thing, I'm trying to do one thing to my own individual self. What I feel inside of myself and I always feel that anything that I can't feel, I will not be on the bandstand to do it. I know if I can't feel it, I don't think that I could tell the people in the audience to feel it. I want them to know one thing, I am and I won't change what I am, not for a dollar. I won't change for anything cause it's my whole life. Do you like to sing when you're alone? Sometimes, it depends on if I'm writing a song. Where do you feel you have performed your best at? I can't say that because I don't really know. You see the whole thing about anything is your public. The day that I try to do a show and I don't feel it, then I know that they can't feel it either and I have to change things. I gotta feel it first in order for me to live with it. If I feel it, I know they gotta have to, if they ain't got it, I'm gonna give it to them. When I met you, I knew you were the greatest person I saw in along time. It's an honor. I will not play anything that I can't feel with my whole soul and body. I mean you could start off with the thing, but if I don't feel it, I'm going to leave that particular song alone because it an be a disaster. I try to do one thing and that is to push an issue about something I can feel in my whole soul and body. That's why you see me saying to the people, (Jr. starts singing this part) "Whats you want baby, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah." If I get them a moving a little bit I get into a thing. If I don't get them there then I say (more singing) "I ain't never gonna say it no more yeah." They don't understand what I'm saying you know what I mean, I'm ad-libbing, I do one thing, I push an issue. You make them get on your side. How do you spend your leisure time? If I'm not listening to a tape, I watch television. I like watching CNN. Do you think you have mellowed over the years? I know I have because I use to be wild, but now I control myself a little bit. Have you ever considered writing your own autobiography? No. What advice do you have for young aspiring harp players? Do it like me, accept it as it is or leave it alone because you don't have no guarantees you're going to make a lot of money out of it. Like I said before, if that's what you're playing for, your not a true musician. Just do one thing if you love what you're doing, do it and money will be there and if it ain't there, are you going to cry over spilt milk? No. I don't cry over nothing. I just do one thing. I do what I know, what I feel about me. This is what it means to me; it don't mean nothing aobut the damn dollar. I have to do one thing and that is what I feel and this is very important to me. I don't want nobody to think for one instance, that I'm just, you know what I mean? I'm not that person; well they know it by now; I think so but whatever. What is your secret for longevity in the business? I fell like one thing; nobody own me nothing. I owe the public something they have been so nice to me. I owe everything in my whole soul and body for them because they accepted me and they made me work more harder. If they didn't give me that little push, maybe I wouldn't of did it, but they did. I owe it, I owe this; it means so much to me. Who is Junior Wells? I'm person that feels something with his whole soul and body. I don't want; I'll put it this way. I don't want to do nothing that I don't feel with my whole soul and body. I have to feel what I'm doing. You have to deliver something to the people out there and let them come with you. I don't consider myself a legend of the blues. I consider myself a person that's doing a blues thing. Junior became ill in 1997 with lymphatic cancer. He passed away on January 15, 1998. "He was just a person, that was doing a blues thing." Junior wasn't just a person that was doing a blues thing, he was and is "The Godfather of the Blues." Items contained on this Facebook profile may only be reproduced with adequate photo credit, copyright protection, and written permission. Official and one and only Facebook profile of Junior Wells. Amos Blakemore (Junior Wells) Dec. 9, 1934 - January 15, 1998
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Genres:
Blues

No upcoming shows
Send a request to Junior Wells (Official) to play in your city
Request a Show

Bandsintown Merch

Circle Hat
$25.0 USD
Live Collage Sweatshirt
$45.0 USD
Rainbow T-Shirt
$30.0 USD
Circle Beanie
$20.0 USD

About Junior Wells (Official)

MR. JUNIOR WELLS! by Linda Cunningham Junior Wells saw the blues go through many transformations. His interpretive ability with the harmonica and his sense of phrasing gave him a special bluesy quality. This man, this legend, not only made a great contribution to the blues, he had his own sound and style that was effective for him instrumentally and vocally as well. This virtuoso was all that and more; he was an original for his style of playing that was unsurpassed in every way. Junior was a man with one vision, rich with tradition and pride in his soul keeping the blues alive. Here is how he felt in his own words: What is your full name? Amos Blakemore Wells Jr. When is your birthday? I was born December 9, 1934. Where were you born at? In Arkansas. What music did you listen to growing up? The music that I really listened to was a thing like, I thought when I went by a Sanctified Church called St. Paul's in Arkansas, I thought they was playing the blues. I did not know that it was a preaching type thing, but I went by there and I saw it so I went in. You know how the Sanctified Church is with guitars and all that stuff like that and drums and stuff. I went way down front to make sure I got close to what they was doing. So, I told mama; I said, "I know what I want to be now." She said, "What's you wanna be now?" I said, "I want to be a blues player." And she said, "How do you know?" I said, "Cause I was over there at the blues joint." She said, "What?" And I said, "Over at St. Paul's." She said, "That's not a blues joint, you was in a Sanctified Church." So this is when I found out about what I had did. But I know one thing, I know what I felt about that part of it and I know blues and the Sanctified Church is no different except the religion type thing. You know what I mean? I don't think it's no better, I know this is a church and the other one is the same thing, but it's a blues thing as far as I'm concerned. What about the blues? It's to say; when I was growing up, I was such a young kid about the thing. I really didn't know what I was actually listening to at first. I know that when I did, I was listening to them from Randy's Record Shop in Tenn. I was living in Arkansas, and when I really got myself together I went to Chicago in 1941. Who taught you how to play the harmonica? I taught myself. I also learned one thing, that don't nobody owe me nothing. I owe everybody something, and I always will do one thing, I don't want to disrespect and I will not. I don't care what it is; I just want to be one thing at all times. I want to be there if they say, "Jr. will you help me do this here." I'm there to help ou if I can. When did you get your first harmonica? Put it this way, the first harp I had only cost thirty-five cent, you could get 'em for fifty cents, it depended on what you wanted. Hohner ws more expensive than the American Ace and you bought then at the Rexall Drug Stores. The first harp I had was an American Ace, which is the cheapest harp you could ever buy in your life. Do you play only Lee Oskar harmonicas? I like Lee Oskar harmonicas and Hohner. Do you play any other instruments? I try to play alittle guitar. I try to play alittle keyboard. I play alittle drum. I just one person; I play the harmonica and that's it. When did you do your first recording? I did my first recording when I was about fifteen or sixteen years old. Do you remember with what label? I think it was United. That's when I first did the "Hoodoo Man Blues." Tell me about recording "Hoodoo Man Blues." The one I did was when I was sixteen years old. I did that one on United on a 78. Al Vincent was the disc jockey in Chicago and they had taken the record over to him and asked him to play it. I said, "I only have twenty-five dollars, so would you just play it for me just one time." They gave him the twenty-five dollars; he throwed it on the floor, took the record and throwed it on the floor and stomped on it. I picked that shit up and got the hell out of there with it. That's when I didn't want to do that particular tune anymore; until I met Bob Koester. Bob wanted me to come up and do a recording for him; he wanted me to do the "Hoodoo Man." I said, "I don't want to do the "Hoodoo Man." I said, "I don't want nothing to do with it, I'm not messin' and if you want me to record, I'm gonna record. If you don't, the hell with it. I'll get the hell out of here now." We was doing our own thing and Buddy's amplifier had went out. They didn't have a spare one, so they had taken Buddy's guitar and hooked it up into the Hammond organ speaker. So, this is when we got the sound for everything by him playing, and I heard it. I didn't think anything about it, cause I wasn't interested in it. Buddy was saying, "Hey Jr., listen to this sound, try this sound." I said, "What?" He said he was doing "Hoodoo Man" changes. I was singing the thing and boom, boom. I didn't know it was being recorded. So, we got through, finishing whatever we had did and Bob Koester said, "Jr., could I play something for you?" I said, "You already played it." He said, "No, I got another thing I want to play back for you and you won't get mad about it?" I said, "What is it?" He said, "Promise me you won't get mad." And I said, "Even if I say I promise you; I'll stick to what I said. Yeah, I promise." Boom, here come "Hoodoo Man" and when I heard it, it was in an entirely different sound. I felt more feeling in my heart and things I did from the first one; because I was such a young man. My voice was more mature and the music was an entirely different thing, and I'm more proud of it now. Mr. Bob Koester on his birthday in Chicago, wanted me to play at his party. He had other people that had recorded for him and some that were still on his label. He said that the only reason that Delmark is open today is because of the "Hoodoo Man" LP. It made me feel so good. Did you go AWOL from the Army to record "Hoodoo Man"? No, I went AWOL and I didn't have anything to do with the "Hoodoo Man." What year was that? I went in the service in 1953 and I got out in 1955. That is when I started back playing with Muddy Waters. You use to blow through an amp and you had some great sounds out of it, why don't you blow through an amp anymore? Because I can't find the amplifier I want. They don't make amplifiers like they use to. Today you have more of a cabinet than you have an amplifier, and it's just in the way. It takes up a lot of space in what you have to do about when you travel and things like that. So, I prefer not to have it. I got amplifiers, I got one amplifier that I like, my Mesa Boogie. Does harp playing bring as much joy to you now, as it did when you were younger? It does, but I think I was more excited because I was trying to push alittle issue. I do know one thing, it doesn't mean because you're more mature about a thing as of today, you still get excited and I do, I do. It's because of one thing, it's always a challenge. I don't want to forget nothing. Do you ever go back and listen to any of your old albums? Well, I do when I get a chance. Which one of your songs has emerged as your favorite? "Today I Started Loving You Again." Do you have to work on your vocals? Sometimes, you just can't keep on going over the same thing over and over again every night. It gets a little weak; it got so weak in Europe one time I had to regroup. I came back to the United States; I didn't know what was wrong with my own individual self. I didn't know what I had, I knew I had bronchitis before in Africa. That is what I thought I had till I got back to Chicago and went to the Dr. They took an x-ray of my lungs and my lung had collapsed. The only thing was that I didn't have bronchitis; I had pneumonia. It will never happen no more though, cause I know better now. I know what I'm supposed to do. When you sing, what do you want the audience to feel? I'm not trying to get them to feel anything. I want them to know one thing, I'm trying to do one thing to my own individual self. What I feel inside of myself and I always feel that anything that I can't feel, I will not be on the bandstand to do it. I know if I can't feel it, I don't think that I could tell the people in the audience to feel it. I want them to know one thing, I am and I won't change what I am, not for a dollar. I won't change for anything cause it's my whole life. Do you like to sing when you're alone? Sometimes, it depends on if I'm writing a song. Where do you feel you have performed your best at? I can't say that because I don't really know. You see the whole thing about anything is your public. The day that I try to do a show and I don't feel it, then I know that they can't feel it either and I have to change things. I gotta feel it first in order for me to live with it. If I feel it, I know they gotta have to, if they ain't got it, I'm gonna give it to them. When I met you, I knew you were the greatest person I saw in along time. It's an honor. I will not play anything that I can't feel with my whole soul and body. I mean you could start off with the thing, but if I don't feel it, I'm going to leave that particular song alone because it an be a disaster. I try to do one thing and that is to push an issue about something I can feel in my whole soul and body. That's why you see me saying to the people, (Jr. starts singing this part) "Whats you want baby, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah." If I get them a moving a little bit I get into a thing. If I don't get them there then I say (more singing) "I ain't never gonna say it no more yeah." They don't understand what I'm saying you know what I mean, I'm ad-libbing, I do one thing, I push an issue. You make them get on your side. How do you spend your leisure time? If I'm not listening to a tape, I watch television. I like watching CNN. Do you think you have mellowed over the years? I know I have because I use to be wild, but now I control myself a little bit. Have you ever considered writing your own autobiography? No. What advice do you have for young aspiring harp players? Do it like me, accept it as it is or leave it alone because you don't have no guarantees you're going to make a lot of money out of it. Like I said before, if that's what you're playing for, your not a true musician. Just do one thing if you love what you're doing, do it and money will be there and if it ain't there, are you going to cry over spilt milk? No. I don't cry over nothing. I just do one thing. I do what I know, what I feel about me. This is what it means to me; it don't mean nothing aobut the damn dollar. I have to do one thing and that is what I feel and this is very important to me. I don't want nobody to think for one instance, that I'm just, you know what I mean? I'm not that person; well they know it by now; I think so but whatever. What is your secret for longevity in the business? I fell like one thing; nobody own me nothing. I owe the public something they have been so nice to me. I owe everything in my whole soul and body for them because they accepted me and they made me work more harder. If they didn't give me that little push, maybe I wouldn't of did it, but they did. I owe it, I owe this; it means so much to me. Who is Junior Wells? I'm person that feels something with his whole soul and body. I don't want; I'll put it this way. I don't want to do nothing that I don't feel with my whole soul and body. I have to feel what I'm doing. You have to deliver something to the people out there and let them come with you. I don't consider myself a legend of the blues. I consider myself a person that's doing a blues thing. Junior became ill in 1997 with lymphatic cancer. He passed away on January 15, 1998. "He was just a person, that was doing a blues thing." Junior wasn't just a person that was doing a blues thing, he was and is "The Godfather of the Blues." Items contained on this Facebook profile may only be reproduced with adequate photo credit, copyright protection, and written permission. Official and one and only Facebook profile of Junior Wells. Amos Blakemore (Junior Wells) Dec. 9, 1934 - January 15, 1998
Show More
Genres:
Blues

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