Lowell Fulson: Influential West Coast Bluesman, Jazzhouse.org, 1999

Lowell Fulson: Influential West Coast Bluesman
Jazzhouse.org, 1999

Lowell Fulson was not only a major name in his own right in the development of post-war blues, but also served as either a sometime employer of or a leading influence on a number of famous artists. He was a major formative influence on the music of B B King, while his bands in the early-50s included musicians like pianist and arranger Ray Charles, guitarist Ike Turner, and saxophonists Stanley Turrentine and King Curtis. Read more

“Lowell Fulson, 77, Who Took Texas-Style Blues to the West Coast,” The New York Times, March 14, 1999

“Lowell Fulson, 77, Who Took Texas-Style Blues to the West Coast,”
The New York Times, March 14, 1999
By Jon Pareles

“Lowell Fulson, a major figure in West Coast blues, died March 6 in Long Beach, Calif. He was 77 and lived in Los Angeles.

The cause was complications from kidney disease, diabetes and congestive heart failure, said his companion, Tina Mayfield…” Read more

California Soul: Music of African Americans in the West

California Soul: Music of African Americans in the West
Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje and Eddie S. Meadows, editors

Focusing on blues, jazz, gospel, rhythm and blues, and soul music, California Soul is one of the first books to explore the rich musical heritage of African Americans in California. The contributors describe in detail the individual artists, locales, groups, musical styles, and regional qualities, and the result is an important book that lays the groundwork for a whole new field of study. The essays draw from oral histories, music recordings, newspaper articles and advertisements, as well as population statistics to provide insightful discussions of topics like the California urban milieu’s influence on gospel music, the development of the West Coast blues style, and the significance of Los Angeles’s Central Avenue in the early days of jazz. Other essays offer perspectives on how individual musicians have been shaped by their African American heritage, and on the role of the record industry and radio in the making of music. In addition to the diverse range of essays, the book includes the most comprehensive bibliography now available on African American music and culture in California.

Lowell Fulson

Lowell FulsonLowell Fulson was born on a Choctaw Indian Reservation in Oklahoma in 1921. But it was on Oakland’s 7th Street that his musical career began.

Conscripted into the army and stationed in West Oakland, Fulson occasionally played his guitar on street corners and at house parties. When local record producer Bob Geddins met Fulson, he told him, “If you ever come back through this way, I’ll record ya.” Continue reading “Lowell Fulson”