Tbone Walker was born Aaron Thibeaux Walker on May 28th 1910. He was considered the founding father of the electric guitar and not only was an amazing guitarist and singer, but was also a spectacular performer. Tbone is considered to be the innovator of playing the guitar with his teeth and could do full splits while playing his guitar behind his back!
Both of Tbone's parents were musicians and after they seperated, his mother (who played blues guitar) moved the family to Dallas. While growing up in Dallas as a young boy Tbone became friends with Blind Lemon Jefferson and Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter and absorbed their musical techniques and sensibilities.
Walker began his professional career dancing and playing banjo with Doctor Breeding’s Big B Medicine Show and worked with blues artist Ida Cox . After winning 1st place in a talent contest promoted by the then famous Cab Calloway Walker's musical career began to take off. However, the depression hit and T-bone found himself on the streets of Dallas performing for tips with Charlie Christian. T-bone and Charlie formed a lifelong friendship and T-bone was devastated by Charlie's early death.
In the late 30's Walker toured with Cab Calloway and performed with Ma Rainey and by 1939 he recorded with Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong. That same year he recorded an electrified guitar and the world of music was forever changed.
By 1942, T-Bone was recording on a Gibson ES-250 electric guitar and matching EM-185 amplifier for Capitol records and recorded "I Gotta Break Baby” and “Mean Old World”. Between 1942 and 1944 no music was recorded because of Petrillo's union ban to try to get musicians better royalty percentages.
In 1946 Walker joined the Black and White label which was later bought out by Capital records. During this period from 1946 to 1950, Walker produced a huge volume of material including such greats as "T-Bone
Shuffle", "Inspiration Blues", "Go Back to the One You Love", "I'm Still in Love with You" and "West Side Baby".
In 1950 T-bone signed with Imperial records and with his 11 piece band recorded such great songs as “The Hustle is On,” “Cold, Cold Feeling,” “Party Girl,” and "Blue Mood". During this period T-bone also recorded with Dave Bartholomew and T-bone's nephew, jazz guitarist Barney Kessel.
By the late 50's Rock and Roll took it's toll on jazz and blues and T-bone's popularity waned in the States. However blues remained popular in Europe and T-bone toured extensively in Europe until a stroke in 1974 effectively ended his career. T-bone Walker died in 1975 at the age of 65.