J.B. Lenoir

J.B. Lenoir

Tilton, Lawrence County, Mississippi, USA
Death 29 Apr 1967 (aged 41)
Urbana, Champaign County, Illinois, USA
Burial* Monticello, Lawrence County, Mississippi, USA

* Alleged or in dispute burial location

Memorial ID 9428210 · View Source
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J.B. Lenoir (J.B. is his given name) was raised in rural Mississippi listening to the blues of Blind Lemon Jefferson, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup and Sam "Lighting" Hopkins. After his father started teaching him the guitar at the age of eight, J.B. developed a high pitched voice, hook-laden songwriting and a high energy boogie guitar. His style was so unique that no other artists have attempted to imitate it. By his mid teens (1944) he had drifted to New Orleans where he polished skills his playing with Sonny Boy Williamson (Aleck Miller) and Elmore James. Arriving in Chicago in 1949, J.B. found employment at a meat packing plant. At night he was introduced around the local club scene by Big Bill Broonzy and Memphis Minnie. By 1951, with his talents reconized, he entered the recording studio with Sunnyland Slim (piano), Alfred Wallace (drums), Leroy Foster (bass) and J.T. Brown (sax). These sessions led to the politically influenced songs "Eisenhower Blues" and "Korea Blues." Over the next 15 years he wrote and recorded the classics "Round and Round," "Voodoo Music," "I Feel So Good," and "Been Down So Long." With the Civil Rights movement and Vietnam War in full swing, J.B. returned to his political roots with "Alabama March," "Shot James Meredith," and "Vietnam Blues." J.B. Lenoir was a dynamic performer who often appeared wearing full length custom made tuxedo tails of various colors, zebra striped being his favorite. In the spring of 1967, he was involved in an automobile accident and died three weeks later, possibly of undianosed internal injuries.

Bio by: Jim Adams



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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Jim Adams
  • Added: 6 Sep 2004
  • Find a Grave Memorial 9428210
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for J.B. Lenoir (5 Mar 1926–29 Apr 1967), Find a Grave Memorial no. 9428210, citing Salem Church Cemetery, Monticello, Lawrence County, Mississippi, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .