Lonnie Brooks

Lee Baker, Jr., the legendary blues guitarist and singer Lonnie Brooks, was also born in Dubuisson, Louisiana, on December 18, 1933. He was the son of Lillian Baker, a wife, and Baker, Sr., who were both cotton field workers. Brooks was inspired by his grandfather Joe the Banjo, a circus musician, craftsman and strongman. Brooks, who had just completed eighth grade, left school to live with his dad. Brooks moved to Texas in 1950 from Dubuisson, leaving for southern Louisiana in 1950. He got married and then moved to Port Arthur, Texas. Brooks met Clifton Chenier while in Port Arthur. He offered Brooks the opportunity to perform with him. Brooks performed all kinds of Zydeco, rock and roll, jazz, country and other musics under the “Guitar Junior” name. He then traveled to Chicago with Sam Cooke, where he settled in with Cooke and his mother and brother. Brooks gave up the name “Guitar Junior” in the 1960s and adopted his current moniker. He performed with Jimmy Reed, and included the sounds of Chicago into his performances. Brooks was a Chicago musician who played cover songs for gangsters during the 1960s and 70s. Brooks’ breakthrough came in 1978, when he recorded four songs for Alligator Records’ Living Chicago Blues collection. Brooks’ album Bayou Lightning was released in 1978. He won a Grand Prix Award and exploded onto the blues scene. Brooks’ distinctive sound is a blend of Chicago blues and R.

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