Today in Blues Music History – May 17th – Taj Mahal is Born – MojoHand

From Mojohand.com – The Home of Everything Blues since 2001, celebrating the music and the legends of the Blues art form

 

May 17th, 1942 – Taj Mahal is born

Henry St. Claire Fredericks Jr., better known by his stage name Taj Mahal, is an American blues musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actor, and film composer. He plays the guitar, piano, banjo, harmonica, and many other instruments, often incorporating elements of world music into his work.

 

Early Years

While attending the University of Massachusetts at Amherst as an agriculture student in the early 1960s the musician transformed himself into Taj Mahal an idea that came to him in a dream. He began playing with the popular U. Mass. party band The Elektras then left Massachusetts in 1964 for the blues-heavy Los Angeles club scene. There he formed The Rising Sons withRy Cooder Ed Cassidy Jesse Lee Kinkaid Gary Marker and Kevin Kelly. At the Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles The Rising Sons opened for Otis Redding Sam the Sham The Temptations and Martha and the Vandellas at The Trip. Taj also had the opportunity to hear meet and play with such blues legends as Howlin’ Wolf Muddy Waters Junior Wells Buddy Guy Louis and Dave Meyers Sleepy John Estes Yank Rachel Lightin’ Hopkins Bessie Jones the Georgia Sea Island Singers and Hammy Nixon.

Discography

Taj Mahal (Columbia Records, 1968)
The Natch’l Blues (Columbia Records, 1968)
Giant Step/De Ole Folks at Home (Columbia Records, 1969)
Happy Just to Be Like I Am (Columbia Records, 1971)
Recycling The Blues & Other Related Stuff (Columbia Records, 1972)
Sounder (original soundtrack) (Columbia Records, 1972)
Oooh So Good ‘n Blues (Columbia Records, 1973)
Mo’ Roots (Columbia Records, 1974)
Music Keeps Me Together (Columbia Records, 1975)
Satisfied ‘n Tickled Too (Columbia Records, 1976)
Music Fuh Ya’ (Warner Bros. Records, 1976)
Brothers (Warner Bros. Records, 1977)
Evolution (Warner Bros. Records, 1977)
Taj (Gramavision, 1987)
Shake Sugaree (Music For Little People, 1988)
Mule Bone (Gramavision, 1991)
Like Never Before (Private Music, 1991)
Dancing the Blues (Private Music, 1993)
Mumtaz Mahal, with V.M. Bhatt and N. Ravikiran (Water Lily Acoustics, 1995)
Phantom Blues (Private Music, 1996)
Señor Blues (Private Music, 1997)
Sacred Island, with The Hula Blues Band) (Private Music, 1998)
Blue Light Boogie (Private Music, 1999)
Kulanjan (with Toumani Diabaté) (Hannibal Records, 1999)
Hanapepe Dream, with The Hula Blues Band (Hannibal Records, 2001)
Mkutano Meets the Culture Musical Club of Zanzibar (Respect Records, 2005)
Maestro (Heads Up International, 2008)
Talkin’ Christmas, with Blind Boys of Alabama (Masterworks, 2014)
TajMo, with Keb’ Mo’ (Concord Records, 2017)

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