Alexis Korner was born in Paris in 1928, and during his childhood live in France, Switzerland and North Africa. His family came to London in 1940, and it was there that he discovered the blues. After the war he took up guitar, and met a fellow blues fan in harmonica player Cyril Davies. The two of them performed as a duo in London jazz clubs throughout the 50s, and opened their own London Blues And Barrelhouse Club. In the early 60s they formed Blues Incorporated, probably the first British blues group. It was in reality a loose-knit association of R&B enthusiasts, including all sorts of up-and-coming names such as blues singer Long John Baldry, organist Graham Bond, bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker (both later of Cream), future Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, bassist Danny Thompson, sax player Dick Heckstall-Smith... Among the group's younger fans were Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, John Mayall and Jimmy Page, who would often join them on stage to jam.
Korner was also involved in bringing various American blues singers over to England, introducing them to a new fan base, young and eager to learn. He has been referred to as "The Founding Father of British Blues", and for a few years he was undisputably the UK's top blues authority. However his young fans and proteges were soon to eclipse him in terms of popularity, as the Rolling Stones and others brought American R&B into the British pop market. He strove on with Blues Incorporated, releasing five albums between 1962 and 1966, each with a different lineup of musicians.
In 1966 he abandoned the Blues Incorporated name, and his first album as a solo artist came out in 1967. I Wonder Who featured just the trio of Korner (guitar and vocals), Danny Thompson (bass) and Terry Cox (drums). This was the first time he was heard singing all the material by himself, as previously the Blues Inc. albums had all featured other guest vocalists. The songs included covers of Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man", Percy Mayfield's "River's Invitation" and the blues standards "Rock Me" and "Going Down Slow".
Sky High (1966) <|> A New Generation Of Blues (1968)
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