As a young boy, J.B.'s father taught him to play guitar in the style of Blind Lemon Jefferson; he was also taught by Arthur Crudup and Lightnin’ Hopkins. In the 1940s, he started playing in New Orleans with Sonny Boy Williamson and Elmore James. In 1949 he moved to Chicago; he began playing with names like Memphis Minnie, Big Maceo Merriweather and Muddy Waters.
J.B.'s first recording session was in late 1950 for Chess. He recorded for J.O.B and Parrot 1951-1953, before he returned to Chess. His most commercially successful and enduring release was 1954's “Mamma Talk To Your Daughter”, which reached #11 on the Billboard R&B chart and was later recorded by many other blues and rock musicians.
He was immortalised in John Mayall's songs “The Death of J.B. Lenoir” and "I’m Gonna Fight For You JB”. He also features in the 2003 documentary film “The Soul of a Man”, directed by Wim Wenders, part of Martin Scorsese’s The Blues series.
- 45 Vocals
- 48 Instruments & Performance
- 303 Writing & Arrangement
- 1 Featuring & Presenting
- 1 Acting, Literary & Spoken