Who was/is Junior Wels ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more

Junior Wells

Strutting across the stage, cocksure like the blues' answer to James Brown, Junior Wells owned one of the most dynamic voices in Chicago blues. He was as confident belting brassy soul as he was doing lowdown blues, his wide-toned amplified harmonica excursions always compelling. Before joining forces with Buddy Guy, Junior teamed up with light-fingered guitar master Earl Hooker at Mel London's Chief and Profile Records. It was a match made in blues heaven 

Amos Wells Blakemore was born December 9, 1934 in West Memphis, Arkansas. He found a kindred spirit while growing up on his family's farm. "His name was Junior Parker," said the late Wells. "We was raised up together, and he was playing the harmonica. I said to myself, if he could do it, I could too."  But the bright lights up north beckoned. "I came to Chicago in 1941," he said. "My mother, she was already in Chicago. 

"When I got to Chicago, I met all the older musicians--blues singers, I should say--and they took up so much time with me. Like Muddy Waters, Big Maceo, Tampa Red, Johnny Jones, Sunnyland Slim, Big Bill Broonzy, the original Sonny Boy (John Lee Williamson), and the late Rice Miller. But the late Rice Miller was the thing that set my soul on fire with the harmonica." The fun-loving teen hooked up with guitar-wielding brothers Louis and David Myers in 1950; along with drummer Fred Below, they formed a band called the Aces.

 

"Me and the Aces, we go way back as kids," Wells said. "I was living at 22nd and Prairie, and they came over to some friends of theirs across the street at a house party. The people that had the house party came over and asked me to come over,” he said. “So I went over, and they asked me, do I want to sit in and jam with 'em? So we started to jamming, and it came out pretty good. Then after that, we decided maybe we would try to do some things together. We started doing house parties and stuff like that. The first little gig at a club we had, we went in there and did a thing there for three nights. We was making like $12. That's for the whole group."

Wells briefly joined Muddy Waters' combo in 1952, replacing Little Walter, before making his solo recording debut the next year with a romping Cut That Out for Leonard Allen's States label (he encored with his first version of Hoodoo Man). After four States singles in all and then a lengthy hiatus, Junior joined London's fledgling label setup in 1957, waxing Two-Headed Woman and I Could Cry for Chief. A '59 date for Profile resulted in the national hit Little By Little (I'm Losing You).  

"Mel London and Willie Dixon was the ones that was doing the singing on it. They're backing me up. I thought it was a tremendous thing, because I didn't think it was hittin' on too much when we first started off to doin' it," said Junior. "But after I listened to it when they played it back to me, it was great."

A talented composer, savvy producer, and commercially astute label boss, the Mississippi-born London wrote Wells' sassy signature song Messin' With The Kid, cut October 17, 1960 at Chicago's Universal Recording. Its killer instrumental hook, inserted at the end of most choruses, was played by impeccable lead guitarist Earl Hooker. He was joined in the band by saxists Jarrett Gibson and Donald Hankins, pianist Johnny 'Big Moose' Walker, bassist Jack Myers, and drummer Fred Below (Wells left his harp in his pocket). Hooker did a sublime instrumental version, Rockin' With The Kid, the following year for London's Age imprint.

Bill Dahl
Chicago, Illinois 

PLUG IT IN! TURN IT UP!
Electric Blues 1939–2005 – The Definitive Collection!
Volume 3: 1960–1969

  Junior Wells on Wikipedia

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You're Tuff Enough (LP) Junior Wells: You're Tuff Enough (LP) Art-Nr.: LPCLO0051

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(Goldenlane Records) 12 Tracks
$20.16 $22.41
Box Of Blues (6-CD) Junior Wells: Box Of Blues (6-CD) Art-Nr.: CDCLO736

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(Cleopatra) 66 tracks. Gorgeous six CD box set celebrating a true blues legend, the 'Sexy Bitch' himself, Junior Wells! Includes vintage studio recordings from 1953 to 1979 of Wells' best-loved tracks such as 'Messin' With The Kid,'...
$78.58 $89.81
Coming At You (LP, 180g Vinyl) Junior Wells: Coming At You (LP, 180g Vinyl) Art-Nr.: LPCR00095

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(Craft Recordings) 11 tracks - Re-issue of the original 1968 'Vanguard' LP album on 180g vinyl - A Chicago blues classic from the legendary harmonica player, feat. Buddy Guy, Lefty Dizz, Douglas Fagan and Terry Clark - Available on vinyl...
$33.64
Hoodoo Man Blues (2-LP 180g Vinyl, 45rpm, Ltd.) Junior Wells' Chicago Blues Band, feat. Buddy Guy: Hoodoo Man Blues (2-LP 180g Vinyl, 45rpm, Ltd.) Art-Nr.: LPAAPB034

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(2017/Analogue Prod.) 12 Tracks - Reissue of the original 1965 Delmark album! 2-LP 180g virgin vinyl edition for best possible analogue sound reproduction..on 45rpm speed! Limited edition of less than 1000 copies!
$89.81
Live At Buddy Guy's Legend (CD) Junior Wells: Live At Buddy Guy's Legend (CD) Art-Nr.: CDMVD0372

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(2017/MVD Audio) 11 Tracks (58:08) - After Wells received a Grammy for his latest album he recorded this live album in 1995 at his longtime partner's club 'Buddy Guy's Legends' in downtown Chicago. Very atmospheric live recordings,...
$11.18 $16.79
Calling All Blues - The Chief, Profile & USA Recordings 1957-1963 (CD) Junior Wells: Calling All Blues - The Chief, Profile & USA... Art-Nr.: CD0610872X

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(2000/Fuel 2000) 24 tracks (61:11) 1957-63' Chief, Profile, USA masters with 8 page notes and label shots by Neil Slaven. - Junior Wells in his heydays. These original 45s are showing a young and ambitious musician, although somewhat...
$16.79 $22.41
An Introduction To Junior Wells (CD) Junior Wells: An Introduction To Junior Wells (CD) Art-Nr.: CD0615472

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(2006/Fuel 2000) 14 Tracks - Original Chief recordings, 1957-1961, incl. hits like 'Messin' With The Kid' and many more! Plus 4 live bonus tracks! Liner notes by Bill Dahl! Rare CD!
$22.41
Blues Hit Big Town (LP) Junior Wells: Blues Hit Big Town (LP) Art-Nr.: LPDS640

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(2016/Delmark) 12 tracks. Many thanks to Delmark Records for this great re-issue. All fans of '50s style Chicago blues have been waiting impatiently for this album. These are Junior's earliest recordings. Amazing to learn how strong a...
$19.04
Calling All Blues 1957-1961 (CD) Junior Wells: Calling All Blues 1957-1961 (CD) Art-Nr.: CDWESA866

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(1957-63 'Chief') (61:11/24) Hervorragende Titel, die in jenen Tagen allesamt auf Singles veröffentlicht wurden / excellent cuts; all have been released on 45s.
$56.11
Blues Is Alright! Live! (2-CD) Junior Wells: Blues Is Alright! Live! (2-CD) Art-Nr.: CDRB3310

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(2015/Rockbeat) 17 tracks. The blues virtuosos Junior Wells, started his first blues band when he was 14 years old. For reign of postwar blues harmonica king he battled his way bar by bar, club by club from Chicago to the Mississippi...
$21.29
Southside Blues Jam (CD) Junior Wells: Southside Blues Jam (CD) Art-Nr.: CDDE628

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(2014/Delmark) 15 tracks. His 1969/70 album plus 7 bonus tracks. 16 page booklet with a new 2014 note by producer Bob Koester and many never-before-seen photos enclosed. This studio album captures what a listener would hear any Monday...
$17.92
Junior’S Wail – Singles As & Bs 1953-1961 Junior Wells: Junior’S Wail – Singles As & Bs 1953-1961 Art-Nr.: CDJAS3041

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(2014/Jasmine) 28 tracks Featuring: Muddy Waters, Earl Hooker, Willie Dixon, Elmore James, Otis Spann
$16.79
Pleading The Blues Junior Wells: Pleading The Blues Art-Nr.: PPAN17

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(2014/Pure Pleasure) 7 tracks. His 1979 French album for Isabel
$33.64
Hoodoo Man Blues Junior Wells: Hoodoo Man Blues Art-Nr.: CDDE612

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One of the ten best blues albums of all times, augmented by a 16-page booklet, eight never-before-issued photos from the historic 'Hoodoo Man Blues' recording session, the original liner notes, the early '70s addendum to the liner notes,...
$17.92
Messin' With The Kid (Jewel - Paula Archives) Junior Wells: Messin' With The Kid (Jewel - Paula Archives) Art-Nr.: CDGAMC216

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Excellent compilation with his great early sides for various smaller labels. Liner notes by Bill Dahl.
$18.82
Live In Boston 1966 Junior Wells: Live In Boston 1966 Art-Nr.: CDDE809

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I have no clue where Delmark Records did find these previously unknown live recordings. The recording quality is surprisingly good, especially when regarding the age of the tapes. This set delivers an intimate look behind the curtain in...
$17.92
Lovey Dovey Lovey One - You Sure Look... 7inch, 45rpm Junior Wells: Lovey Dovey Lovey One - You Sure Look... 7inch,... Art-Nr.: REP23016

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Rockin' blues stomper!
$12.08
Lawdy! Lawdy! bw - 'Bout The Break Of Day 7inch, 45rpm Junior Wells: Lawdy! Lawdy! bw - 'Bout The Break Of Day... Art-Nr.: REP23013

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Killer Chicago Blues stroller!
$12.08
Live At Theresa's 1975 Junior Wells: Live At Theresa's 1975 Art-Nr.: CDDE787

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Junior Wells was leading the houseband at Theresa's from the late 1950s until the demise of the club in 1983. Theresa's was his public living room, a small club holding not more than 50 people. There was no stage. But it was Junior's...
$17.41
Blues Hit Big Town Junior Wells: Blues Hit Big Town Art-Nr.: CDDD640

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Many thanks to Delmark Records for this great re-issue. All fans of '50s style Chicago blues have been waiting impatiently for this album. As a special treat, four previously unreleased cuts have been added. These are Junior's earliest...
$14.55
Live At Buddy Guy's Legend Junior Wells: Live At Buddy Guy's Legend Art-Nr.: CD83412

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(1996 'Telarc') (58:08/11) Nachdem sein letztes Album mit einem 'Grammy' honoriert wurde, nahm er noch ein Livealbum aus dem Club seines langjährigen Partners Buddy Guy in Chicago auf. Die Aufnahme ist klasse, die Band - meist recht...
$9.83
Come On In This House Junior Wells: Come On In This House Art-Nr.: CD83395

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(1996 'Telarc') (69:21/14) Hörenswertes, spannendes Album, bedingt durch die dezente Produktion und die Mitwirkung exzellenter Slidegitarristen. Empfehlenswert / a nice release, thanks to the fine production and the support of...
$9.83
Everybody's Gettin' Some Junior Wells: Everybody's Gettin' Some Art-Nr.: CD83360

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(1994/95 'Telarc') (56:34/12) Eins der besten Junior Wells-Alben - und ein schönes Vermächtnis des im Januar'98 nach schwerer Krankheit gestorbenen Wells. Eine zeitgemäße Produktion, groovende Songs und viele Funkanleihen - machen diese...
$9.83 $16.79
Hoodoo Man Blues Junior Wells: Hoodoo Man Blues Art-Nr.: LPDS612

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(1966) Delmark Für mich die beste Chicago-Blues LP schlechthin! Ein Meisterwerk, daß in jede Sammlung gehört / Guess this is the best Blues album ever recorded in Chicago! The pearl of any record collection ! JUNIOR WELLS - hca/vcl,...
$18.82
Southside Blues Jam (LP) Junior Wells: Southside Blues Jam (LP) Art-Nr.: LPDS628

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(1969) Delmark JUNIOR WELLS - hca/vcl, BUDDY GUY & LOUIS MYERS - gtrs, OTIS SPANN - pno, E.JOHNSON - bass, FRED BELOW - drums. We have tried to capture on this album what a listener would hear any monday night at Theresa's Blues Bar (now...
$19.04
On Tap Junior Wells: On Tap Art-Nr.: CDDD635

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Re-mixed and re-packaged. Great sound, and music featuring some nice guitar from SAMMY LAWHORN and PHIL GUY. Support by: BIG MOOSE WALKER, A.C.REED, etc. ... Junior Wells held court at Theresa's Tavern at 4801 South Indiana on Chicago's...
$14.55
Better Off With The Blues Junior Wells: Better Off With The Blues Art-Nr.: CD83354

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(1993 'Telarc') (59:55/10) Special guests: BUDDY GUY - gtr, LUCKY PETERSON - kbds.
$9.83 $16.79
Comin' At You Junior Wells: Comin' At You Art-Nr.: CD79262

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(1969 'Vanguard') (35:02/11)
$14.32
It's My Life Baby Junior Wells: It's My Life Baby Art-Nr.: CD73120

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(1968 'Vanguard') (48:35/12)
$14.32 $17.41