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Elmore James

Artist Pages

...As an electric guitar and blues innovator, Elmore James’s influence transcended his genre and generation. Born Elmore Brooks into a field hand family in Holmes County, Mississippi in 1918, James began making music at age twelve by playing...

Tom Jones

Artist Pages

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...When Tom Jones won the Best New Artist Grammy in 1965, it ignited a career that would see over 100 million albums sold and thirty-six Top 40 hits in the UK. Born in Wales in 1940, Jones began singing at a young age but suffered from...
...Within the ranchera genre of Mexican music, José Alfredo Jiménez stood in a special cohort of incredibly prolific and dynamic songwriters. Jiménez was born in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico in 1926 and began his professional musical career...

Cui Jian

Artist Pages

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...Often referred to as “Old Cui” or “the Father of Chinese Rock,” Cui Jian’s career brought him into direct confrontation with the Chinese government. Cui was born in Beijing in 1961 to Korean parents; his father was a trumpet player and his...

Victor Jara

Artist Pages

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...The tragic career of Victor Jara positioned him as a martyr for the international community of politically active folk artists. Jara was born near Santiago, Chile in 1932 and worked on a farm with his family at the behest of his father...

Jawbreaker

Artist Pages

...When childhood friends Blake Schwarzenbach and Adam Pfahler moved to New York City to attend New York University in 1986, they set in motion a chain of events that would result in the development of emo rock music through the 1990s...

Joy Division

Artist Pages

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...Like many others in the late 1970s, Joy Division’s members were inspired to become a band after seeing the Sex Pistols. Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook saw the Pistols in July 1976 and began planning a band the next day. They added Ian Curtis...
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...As blues music transitioned from acoustic to electric, Lonnie Johnson’s innovative style inspired a generation of artists to push new technology to its limits. Born into a musical family in New Orleans in 1899, Johnson learned to play...

Louis Jordan

Artist Pages

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...The “King of the Jukebox,” Louis Jordan, became a star among both white and black audiences during a period when the two were intentionally kept separate. Jordan was born in Arkansas in 1908. His father was a music teacher who taught his...
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...Without the contribution of Lemon Henry “Blind Lemon” Jefferson, the trajectory of blues music would have been considerably different. Born blind to sharecropper parents near Couchman, Texas in 1893, much of Jefferson’s early biography has...