European Importer of the American Blues

Alexis Korner was born en Paris, en France on 19 Avril, 1928.

He joined Chris Barber's group in the late '40's as guitarist that included Lonnie Donegan. By 1950 it was a skiffle group that they were playing in and Alexis was wanting something different. He did a stint with Ken Colyer's Jazzmen before the turn into the 60s. (It was Barber who introduced Big Bill Broonzy, Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee to England's young blues students)

He formed the formed the Blues Incorporated in 1961 with harmonica, and sometimes guitar player Cyril Davies, whom he had record with - as well as guitarist Jeff Bradford {1957}, bassist Jack Bruce (future member Cream, and drummer Charlie Watts (Rolling Stones, of course.) They opened in a Soho club, were the house band for The Ealing Club. They had their first album R&B from the Marquee in 1962, he played a miked acoustic guitar style which influenced those emulating blues masters.

Davis split with the group that same year over Davies' insistence on maintaining the "Chicago" sound integrity, while Korner favored the jazzier formats like Lonnie Johnson. Ginger Baker (Cream) now was drumming with the Graham Bond Organisation, while the Rolling Stones (named after a Muddy Waters hit song of 1950) pulled Charlie Watts to join Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones. (Davis had his new "All Stars" with Long John Baldry -- later with Rod Stewart). Baker had replaced Watts earlier in 1962 because he was too loud for unplugged jazz.

Later in the '60's Alexis formed "Free at Last" and had some fame with a 'big band' "CCS." He entered into broadcasting, especially advertising in the '70's with voice overs.

He at the end of his career, which stopped with his death from cancer on New Year's Day in 1984, joined Charlie Watt's band, "Rocket 88" which also featured Jack Bruce and Ian Stewart.

Though his remembrance might be lost in the shadows of so many music celebrities, we should anyway, always try to remember him for his tremendous contribution to not just Blues groups, but those amalgamations of virtuoso laden entities a.k.a., Super Groups!


The Blues, Roots and Inspiration, Collis, 1997; Salamander Press, London.

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