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Junior Wells

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NEWS
January 17, 1998 | MYRNA OLIVER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Junior Wells, the colorful and creative singer and harmonica player who became a Chicago blues icon and influenced generations of rock 'n' roll stars, has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 63. Wells, seriously ill since a heart attack in September, died Thursday night in a Chicago hospital of lymphoma. "Junior Wells is a blues legend," wrote a Times critic in 1996 prior to one of Wells' periodic appearances at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 2, 2012 | By Oliver Wang, Special to the Los Angeles Times
It's been close to 10 years since Chicago soul/funk legend Syl Johnson played L.A. on or off camera. "I did 'Soul Train' and 'American Bandstand' out there," said the singer and guitarist, whose 1967 hit, "Different Strokes" (with its signature grunts and laughs), was a calling card of sorts for Johnson. "I used to love L.A. " After slipping into near obscurity in the 1980s, though, the seventysomething Johnson (who prefers not to give his age) came to L.A. only on rare occasions, usually to play the less-flashy blues circuit.
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 24, 1996 | BUDDY SEIGAL, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The kid don't jive, the kid don't play, he say what he mean and he mean what he say! --from "Messing with the Kid" by Junior Wells * Junior Wells is a blues legend, a dynamic package of lean, mean talent, laser-focused energy and razor-sharp style. A singer-harpist whose influence has far outpaced his name recognition, Wells--who plays Wednesday6 at the Coach House--is an innovator and a Godfather of postwar Chicago blues.
NEWS
January 17, 1998 | MYRNA OLIVER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Junior Wells, the colorful and creative singer and harmonica player who became a Chicago blues icon and influenced generations of rock 'n' roll stars, has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 63. Wells, seriously ill since a heart attack in September, died Thursday night in a Chicago hospital of lymphoma. "Junior Wells is a blues legend," wrote a Times critic in 1996 prior to one of Wells' periodic appearances at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano.
NEWS
February 9, 1995 | BILL LOCEY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Chicago is famous for the blues, the Bundys and the hopeless Cubs, the team perhaps inspiring the former and defining the latter. A prominent member of even a short list of noted Chicago blues men would be none other than that wailing short guy Junior Wells, who will be blowing his harmonica and minds tonight at the Underground in Santa Barbara. Wells, 60, started playing the harmonica half a century ago after hearing it on the radio.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 5, 1997 | Natalie Nichols
The blues turns the tables on the Stones in this tribute compilation, as veterans such as Junior Wells and the late Luther Allison essay Jagger-Richards classics. Most of these fine performances favor the originals but don't really fire the imagination. More satisfying are tracks such as Taj Mahal's stripped folk-blues take on "Honky Tonk Women," which infuse the Stones' essence into unique interpretations.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 8, 1995 | BUDDY SEIGAL, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Hot, steaming sweat pours from Junior Wells' hatband, glistens in rivulets down his forehead and into his eyes, which are shut tightly as if the man is in untold pain or rapture. Sweat: It's the essence of this moment, spreading out in dark pools on the layers of swank clothing, dripping from the sizable chunks of gold that adorn long, black fingers and hang from a drenched, silk collar.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 2, 2012 | By Oliver Wang, Special to the Los Angeles Times
It's been close to 10 years since Chicago soul/funk legend Syl Johnson played L.A. on or off camera. "I did 'Soul Train' and 'American Bandstand' out there," said the singer and guitarist, whose 1967 hit, "Different Strokes" (with its signature grunts and laughs), was a calling card of sorts for Johnson. "I used to love L.A. " After slipping into near obscurity in the 1980s, though, the seventysomething Johnson (who prefers not to give his age) came to L.A. only on rare occasions, usually to play the less-flashy blues circuit.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 1996 | BUDDY SEIGAL SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Everybody's crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed man, right? Well, almost everybody. Junior Wells, who played the Coach House on Wednesday night, is one of the unlucky bluesmen of his generation who hasn't yet been given his due, even though his sound has been assimilated by two subsequent generations of blues musicians and even though he remains the baddest-lookin' cat to ever jam on the standard three-chord blues progression I-IV-V. Playing to a predictably small turnout (O.C.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 10, 1995 | BILL KOHLHAASE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Sometime after midnight Wednesday, Junior Wells and his three-piece horn section were assembled in a tight circle at the bar in the back of the Coach House, still blowing away while his rhythm section burned along on stage. It was an appropriate nightcap for the long, two-set performance from Wells and his eight-piece ensemble, a night that began more than four hours earlier with a pair of opening bands.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 5, 1997 | Natalie Nichols
The blues turns the tables on the Stones in this tribute compilation, as veterans such as Junior Wells and the late Luther Allison essay Jagger-Richards classics. Most of these fine performances favor the originals but don't really fire the imagination. More satisfying are tracks such as Taj Mahal's stripped folk-blues take on "Honky Tonk Women," which infuse the Stones' essence into unique interpretations.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 1996 | BUDDY SEIGAL SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Everybody's crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed man, right? Well, almost everybody. Junior Wells, who played the Coach House on Wednesday night, is one of the unlucky bluesmen of his generation who hasn't yet been given his due, even though his sound has been assimilated by two subsequent generations of blues musicians and even though he remains the baddest-lookin' cat to ever jam on the standard three-chord blues progression I-IV-V. Playing to a predictably small turnout (O.C.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 24, 1996 | BUDDY SEIGAL, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The kid don't jive, the kid don't play, he say what he mean and he mean what he say! --from "Messing with the Kid" by Junior Wells * Junior Wells is a blues legend, a dynamic package of lean, mean talent, laser-focused energy and razor-sharp style. A singer-harpist whose influence has far outpaced his name recognition, Wells--who plays Wednesday6 at the Coach House--is an innovator and a Godfather of postwar Chicago blues.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 10, 1995 | BILL KOHLHAASE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Sometime after midnight Wednesday, Junior Wells and his three-piece horn section were assembled in a tight circle at the bar in the back of the Coach House, still blowing away while his rhythm section burned along on stage. It was an appropriate nightcap for the long, two-set performance from Wells and his eight-piece ensemble, a night that began more than four hours earlier with a pair of opening bands.
NEWS
February 9, 1995 | BILL LOCEY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Chicago is famous for the blues, the Bundys and the hopeless Cubs, the team perhaps inspiring the former and defining the latter. A prominent member of even a short list of noted Chicago blues men would be none other than that wailing short guy Junior Wells, who will be blowing his harmonica and minds tonight at the Underground in Santa Barbara. Wells, 60, started playing the harmonica half a century ago after hearing it on the radio.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 8, 1995 | BUDDY SEIGAL, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Hot, steaming sweat pours from Junior Wells' hatband, glistens in rivulets down his forehead and into his eyes, which are shut tightly as if the man is in untold pain or rapture. Sweat: It's the essence of this moment, spreading out in dark pools on the layers of swank clothing, dripping from the sizable chunks of gold that adorn long, black fingers and hang from a drenched, silk collar.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 9, 1990 | MIKE BOEHM, TIMES STAFF WRITER
James Cotton says he never gave a thought to becoming part of the Chicago blues boom of the 1950s. Then, as quickly as Saturday night turns into Sunday morning, he was on the road north from Memphis in the illustrious company of Muddy Waters. It was different for Buddy Guy. Ensconced in Baton Rouge, La., he dreamed about the big city and its music, practiced his guitar and saved his money until, one day in 1957, he boarded a train heading north "to find Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf and the rest of the blues players I admired so much."
ENTERTAINMENT
May 5, 1989 | MIKE BOEHM, Times Staff Writer
Junior Wells playing the Coach House Wednesday night was play in its most fundamental sense. After more than 35 years as one of the leading masters of the Chicago blues, Wells wasn't bound by such considerations as image or observing the proprieties of tradition. The only thing that seemed to matter in his 1 1/2 hours on stage was having a relaxed, spontaneous good time. Wells, 54, reveled in the fun of experimentation. He contorted his voice or blew unexpected phrases on his harmonica as the whim struck him from moment to moment.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 9, 1990 | MIKE BOEHM, TIMES STAFF WRITER
James Cotton says he never gave a thought to becoming part of the Chicago blues boom of the 1950s. Then, as quickly as Saturday night turns into Sunday morning, he was on the road north from Memphis in the illustrious company of Muddy Waters. It was different for Buddy Guy. Ensconced in Baton Rouge, La., he dreamed about the big city and its music, practiced his guitar and saved his money until, one day in 1957, he boarded a train heading north "to find Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf and the rest of the blues players I admired so much."
ENTERTAINMENT
May 5, 1989 | MIKE BOEHM, Times Staff Writer
Junior Wells playing the Coach House Wednesday night was play in its most fundamental sense. After more than 35 years as one of the leading masters of the Chicago blues, Wells wasn't bound by such considerations as image or observing the proprieties of tradition. The only thing that seemed to matter in his 1 1/2 hours on stage was having a relaxed, spontaneous good time. Wells, 54, reveled in the fun of experimentation. He contorted his voice or blew unexpected phrases on his harmonica as the whim struck him from moment to moment.
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