T-Bone Walker’s 1947 recording of ‘Call It Stormy Monday’ was one of the most influential records not only in blues history, but in guitar history. As if the classic lyrics sung so smoothly by Walker weren’t enough (‘They call it Stormy Monday, but Tuesday’s just as bad/Wednesday’s worse, and Thursday’s also sad/Yes, the eagle flies on Friday, and Saturday I go out to play, Sunday I go to church, then I kneel down on my knees and pray’), his sophisticated, jazzy electric guitar work introduced a whole new element into blues guitar playing, both in his single string soloing and his memorable chording. It became a song that virtually every blues band had to know; in fact, it was also required learning for countless jazz, soul, pop, and rock performers who may have had no other blues songs in their entire repertoires. Although it is usually performed and recorded under the shortened titles of ‘Stormy Monday’ or ‘Stormy Monday Blues,’ those titles have also been used for other songs by other writers, and only the full title insures credit to its originator, who lost untold royalties because of the confusion.
Aaron ‘T-Bone’ Walker, vocal and guitar; John ‘Teddy’ Buckner, trumpet; Hubert ‘Bumps’ Myers, tenor sax; Lloyd Glenn, piano; Arthur Edwards, bass; Oscar Lee Bradley, drums. Recorded September 13, 1947, Los Angeles, California. Originally released on Black & White 122 (78 rpm), reissued on Capitol 57-70014.
Discographical details from Blues Records 1943-1970.
— Jim O’Neal