In the early Fifties Korner (born in 1928) flirted with traditional jazz and skiffle before opening the London Blues and Barrelhouse Club with Cyril Davies in 1955. The pair first played together at the club's Thursday evening sessions, which attracted visiting American blues-men as well as local enthusiasts. Inspired by Muddy Waters, Chris Barber introduced R&B into his jazz band's repertoire, and Korner (guitar) and Davies (harmonica) backed singer Ottilie Patterson.
The popularity of the sets encouraged them to form their own- R&B band, Blues Incorporated, in 1961 and, in March the following year, to open their own club in Ealing. The band's original personnel included Art Wood (vocals) and Charlie Watts (drums), and among those who passed through the constantly changing line-up during the next year were Long John Baldry, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Graham Bond, Ronnie Jones, and Phil Seamen. Despite his seminal influence on British R&B, the boom passed Korner by and he spent much of the mid-Sixties working in television with his current rhythm section, Danny Thompson (bass) and Terry Cox (drums).
In 1967, he formed a trio, Free At Last, with an initial line-up of Cliff Barton (bass) and Hughie Flint (drums), but which changed so much he decided to work on his own. While touring Scan-dinavia the following year he met Peter Thorup; their sub-sequent collaboration provided the nucleus of New Church in 1969, the studio band CCS, and Snape, formed by chance on an American tour in 1972 with ex-members of King Crimson. Though Snape broke up within a year, Korner and Thorup continued to work together both as a duo and in CCS, whose hits included a cover of Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love' in 1970.