[Harp-L] Little Walter, born Marion Walter Jacobs (May 1, 1930 – February 15, 1968



 'fun facts' about "Juke": (from >>>http://www.littlewalter.net/<<<)

The recording of "Juke" that was released as a single in 1952 was the very first take completed of the very first song attempted on the very first session Little Walter did as a bandleader for the Chess brothers. 

For years it was believed that Juke was recorded in the time left over at the end of a Muddy Waters session; this is incorrect. Little Walter was recording with Muddy's band that day (as he didn't have a band of his own yet), but the first song recorded at the session was "Juke", followed by multiple takes of "Can't Hold On Much Longer". It was only after LW had laid down satisfactory takes of both sides of his first single that Muddy recorded his only song that day, "Please Have Mercy". So in fact, Muddy was recorded at the end of Little Walter's session, not the other way around. 

"Juke" was recorded at Universal Recorders studio in Chicago by the same recording engineer, Bill Putnam, who had recorded The Harmonicats million selling hit "Peg O' My Heart" a few years earlier. 

"Juke" was not only one of the biggest R&B hits of 1952/53, it was also the biggest hit record released by Chess/Checker up to that date. Only two other Chess releases had reached the #1 position on the Billboard R&B charts up to that point: Jackie Brentson's "Rocket 88" (for five weeks in 1951) and Roscoe Gordon's "Booted" (for one week in 1952). "Juke"was on the Billboard charts for 20 weeks beginning in September of '52, including an amazing eight weeks at #1. To put this into perspective, consider that all of Muddy Waters' releases up to that point in his career had spent a combined total of 10 weeks on the Billboard charts - and Muddy never had a record reach the number #1 position in his entire career. 

On the success of "Juke", Little Walter became the first Chicago blues artist to play New York's famed Apollo Theater. 

"Juke" was the first harmonica instrumental ever to make it onto the Billboard R&B charts. As far as I know, the only other blues harp instrumentals to ever make it onto the Billboard charts were "Sad Hours" (which amazingly reached #2 while "Juke" was still on the charts!), "Off The Wall" which reached #8, and "Roller Coaster" which reached #6, all of which of course are also by Little Walter. One non-blues harmonica instrumental made the Billboard charts: Stevie Wonder's "Fingertips, Pt. 2" in 1963, which peaked at #1 for six weeks, and spent a total of 15 weeks on the charts - which still falls short of the chart success of "Juke". 


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