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Alexis Korner (April 19, 1928 - January 1, 1984), was an English blues musician, of Greek-Austrian descent (father from Austria, Greek mother from Constantinople).

Korner is probably better remembered as a networker and blues historian alhough he was a proficient guitarist and singer himself. Often referred to as "the father of British blues", Korner was instrumental in bringing together various English blues musicians, such as John Mayall as well as Brian Jones, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, who went on to form the Rolling Stones.

He also brought previously unknown American blues artists to England to perform. There is an apocryphal story that the Rolling Stones went to stay at Korner's house late one night, in the early '60s, after a performance. They entered in the accepted way, by climbing in through the kitchen window, to find Muddy Waters's band sleeping on the kitchen floor.

Always a blues purist, Korner criticised better-known British blues musicians, during the blues boom of the late '60s, for their blind adherence to Chicago blues, as if the music came in no other form.

Ironically, he would have his greatest commercial success in the early 1970s with a jazz-rock band called CCS, formed with musical director John Cameron, singer Peter Thorup and record producer Mickie Most. They had hits with "Walkin'", "Tap Turns on the Water", "Brother" which later became the theme tune to the Top 20 (later Top 40) on BBC Radio 1, "The Band Played the Boogie", and the best-remembered, an instrumental version of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love". This version was used for many years as the theme music for the television show "Top Of The Pops".

After they disbanded in 1974 he formed another group, Snape. In his last years, he turned more to broadcasting, and presented a weekly blues and soul show for BBC Radio 1.

Links

http://alexis-korner.net

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