Robert Nighthawk

Robert Nighthawk is without doubt one of the most pivotal figures in blues history. By effortlessly bridging the gap between Chicago and Delta blues, he took his slide cues form Tampa Red and gave them a Mississippi edge that he learned from Houston Stackhouse. He recorded music from the 1930s to the early 1940s under many names, including Rambling Bob, Robert Lee McCoy and Peetieā€™s Boy. But, he eventually got his permanent nickname, Robert Nighthawk, from his first album, “Prowling Night Hawk.” The discography’s erratic nature, taciturnity and apparent disinterest in recording are all reasons for the massive discography gaps. The results almost always reflected his excellence once he was in a studio. It could take two years between sessions. Nighthawk did not achieve the fame of Muddy Waters or Earl Hooker. He found it much more enjoyable to work one-night shifts in Maxwell Street taverns on Sundays than he did at the Maxwell Street open markets. After Sonny Boy Williamson’s death, Nighthawk moved to Helena, AR where he temporarily took over King Biscuit Radio Show. He also worked at every juke joint until his death in 1967 from congestive heart disease. Robert Nighthawk isn’t a name that is often mentioned when talking about the greats of blues. It’s a good thing, as his legacy is all-pervasive. His resonant voice, smooth slide guitar playing, and standard tuning (unusual for a bluesman), would have an impact on generations of blues players. Many of his songs would become blues standards. Allmsuic

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