John Lee Hooker To Be Inducted Into Detroit Sound Hall of Fame on 100th Birthday

John Lee Hooker

Tuesday marks what — most historians believe — would have been bluesman John Lee Hooker‘s 100th birthday.

He’s known as an artist that mastered a genre that’s typically associated with southern America and the history of black southern spiritual music. But Hooker spent several years here in Detroit. Many of them were his most formative years both as a person and an artist.

To mark the date, the Detroit Sound Conservancy is inducting Hooker into the Detroit Sound Hall of Fame. The event happens Tuesday, August 22, at 8 p.m. at One Mile in Detroit.

The conservancy’s founder and director Carleton Gholz joins Detroit Today to talk about Hooker’s time in Detroit and the decision to induct him into the Detroit Sound Hall of Fame.

There’s so many blues stories that end so poorly,” says Gholz. “But he had a long life. I graduated high school in the 90s and he was still making music… so it wasn’t a tragic story in the end for him.”

He walks into Detroit… right near the (1943) riots, right into that cauldron,” Gholz continues. “And then, of course, he lives through the (1967) period too and raises his family here and makes music. So, it’s an incredible American story, it’s an incredible world story, it’s an incredible Detroit story.”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.

Image credit: National Park Service

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Detroit Today

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