Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Johnny Guitar Watson - A Real Mother For Ya...He Invented Rap, perhaps...

What a great album cover.  This is Exhibit A for why I do what I do here.  The bonus is - it's also some pretty cool music and I get to learn things.  Like that Johnny Guitar Watson invented rap music, or at least was the first to speak rhyming words over a bed of music.  This is A Real Mother For Ya, by Johnny "Guitar" Watson (1935 – 1996), he was an American blues and funk guitarist and singer.  "A flamboyant showman and guitar picker in the style of T-Bone Walker, Watson recorded throughout the 1950s and 1960s with some success.  His raunchy reinvention in the 1970s with disco and funk overtones, saw Watson have hits with "Ain't That a Bitch", "I Need It" and "Superman Lover."  His successful recording career spanned forty years, with his biggest hit being the 1977 "A Real Mother For Ya."  And - he may have invented rap.  In a 1994 interview with David Ritz for liner notes to The Funk Anthology, Watson was asked if his 1980 song "Telephone Bill" was a document-able precursor to what would become rap music.  "Anticipated,?" Watson replied. "I damn well invented it!  And I wasn't the only one. Talking rhyming lyrics to a groove is something you'd hear in the clubs everywhere from Macon to Memphis.  Man, talking has always been the name of the game.  When I sing, I'm talking in melody.  When I play, I'm talking with my guitar. I may be talking trash, baby, but I'm talking," JGW.

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