Few Texas bluesmen have dominated their time and place as much as LIGHTNIN' HOPKINS. He was the leading performer of traditional Texas blues for over 35 years. In the first part of this DVD, Lightnin' talks of his career as a bluesman and creator of songs as well as being presented in both informal and concert performances. Sam (Lightnin') Hopkins was born in Centerville, Texas, March 15th, 1912. Inspired by his brother, he took up guitar an early age and as a youth met the legendary Blind Lemon Jefferson. Later he worked the streets of Houston with his cousin, the great blues singer Texas Alexander, and gained a surpassing knowledge of traditional Texas blues. In 1946, he began his 35 year recording career, resulting in hundreds of singles and dozens of albums. His sly and colloquial vocals, his flair for creating humorous and serious blues and his distinctive guitar style, made him an outstanding blues performer. Tracks include: Mr. Charlie, Mojo Hand, Short Haired Woman.
The second part of this DVD presents an intimate portrait of ROOSEVELT SYKES, one of the outstanding blues pianists of this century. As both performer and composer he was a great influence on later pianists such as Memphis Slim and Otis Spann. Sykes reminisces about his life as a blues performer while performing both on stage and at home. Roosevelt Sykes was born in Elmar, Arkansas in 1906. As a teenager he ran off to play in the barrelhouses of Helena, sharpening his talent under the tutelage of blues legends such as "Red-Eye" Jesse Bell and Lee "Pork Chop" Green. He enjoyed a successful recording career for over 50 years, playing hard-edged blues, jazz and rhythm 'n' blues with equal aplomb. Many of his songs have become blues standards, recorded by Ray Charles, Little Junior Parker and John Lee Hooker. Tracks include: I Ain't Mad With You, Blue Moon, My Driving Wheel.