Robert Hokum's Blues Music Play List for the 2019 Chiswick Book Festival

Robert Hokum’s Music List

Here’s a list of the music mentioned in Robert Hokum’s Chiswick Book Festival presentation How West London Rocked The World on 18 September 2019:

PART ONE – WHAT IS THE BLUES?

  • LIZZIE MILES – MY MAN’O’WAR – 1930

An example of the commercialised music sold as ‘Blues’ in the 1930s

  • LEADBELLY – WHOA BACK BUCK – 1934

The song which Robert Hokum believes has a similar melody to an Islamic call to prayer that he heard in Indonesia in 1993.

  • LIGHTENING WASHINGTON AND GROUP – LONG JOHN – 1933

Recorded by the John & Alan Lomax at Darrington State Farm (prison work camp), Texas.

This ‘wood-chopping’ work song gives an example of the rhythms that would later find their way into the Blues.

  • MUDDY WATERS – I BE’S TROUBLED – 1941

Recorded at Stovall’s Plantation by J&A Lomax. This is the first recording of the musician who would be brought to Britain by Chris Barber, inspire the British electric blues boom. His song Rolling Stone would give the name to a certain band whose classic line-up’s first-ever gig would be at the Ealing Club on 12 January 1963.

  • THE DEER CLAN SINGERS – MOCASSIN DANCE

Recorded at a Pura Fe concert in 2011. This Native American heritage group displays how the music of their culture could have influence the Blues.

PART TWO – THE BLUES COMES TO BRITAIN

  • KEN COLYER – K.C.MOAN – 1954

The Godfather of British Trad Jazz also had a skiffle group of which this is a recording. It is the recording debut of Alexis Korner on guitar.

  • BERYL BRYDEN’S BACKROOM SKIFFLE – KANSAS CITY BLUES – 1956

The first recordings of Alexis Korner & Cyril Davies together.

  • ALEXIS KORNER’S BLUES INCORPORATED FEATURING CYRIL DAVIES – NATIONAL DEFENCE BLUES – 1958

The first recordings of Blues Incorporated, when they were still an acoustic group.

  • MUDDY WATERS – I’VE GOT MY MOJO WORKING – 1960

From Live at Newport, this was the album that was a template for Blues Incorporated. The Blues Incorporated album R&B at The Marquee includes covers of four songs from this album.

  • BLUES INCORPORATED – BUILT FOR COMFORT – 1963

With Long John Baldry on vocals, and cover of a Howlin’ Wolf.

PART THREE – WHAT HAPPENED NEXT

  • LED ZEPPELIN – TRAVELLING RIVERSIDE BLUES – 1969

A couple of British musicians from the Alexis Korner school with a cover of a Robert Johnson song recorded in a 1969 BBC session.  Armed with a wall of Marshall amps, and playing delta style blues at intense volume, they would go on to be the biggest ROCK band in the world.

How West London Rocked The World

Ealing’s role in the history of rock music is to be featured in a major book festival.

The Chiswick Book Festival, one of west London’s leading cultural events is to host a session on 18 September called How West London Rocked the World, to highlight the research compiled for the new Ealing Club book The A-Z of Ealing Rock.

The book tells the story of the place where British guitar-based rock found its definitive sound and the music pioneers who lived, worked and played in this corner of west London including The Rolling Stones, The Who, Queen, Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Dusty Springfield, Fleetwood Mac and many more.

Robert Hokum, founder of the Ealing Blues Festival (pictured above) and a co-author of The A-Z of Ealing Rock will talk about Ealing music scene’s global influence, chaired by Caroline Frost, author and former entertainment editor of Huffington Post.

The Chiswick Book Festival event takes place on the evening of Wednesday 18 September at Gunnersbury Park and Museum – the first time this venue has been used for the Chiswick Book Festival.

The Ealing Club is widely regarded as the cradle of blues-based rock music because of the scene that formed around it, particularly between 1962 and 1965.

The A-Z of Ealing Rock details how members of groups including the Rolling Stones, Cream, The Who, Manfred Mann, The Yardbirds, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, The Pretty Things, Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Animals all performed in the basement premises opposite Ealing Broadway Station that’s now known as the Red Room.  The prototype of the classic ‘loud’ Marshall guitar amplifier, made in nearby Hanwell, was first heard in public in the Club, on a Sunday night in 1963.

Robert Hokum said: “The book shows that this west London suburb is the place where thanks to the pioneering players at the Ealing Club and to father-of-loud Jim Marshall, the electric guitar realised its true potential,” says Hokum, “If that’s not enough, it’s where Freddie Mercury joined Queen, and where a punk heritage was to be a catalyst for some of the most iconic electro-pop of the 1980s.”

A documentary film, Suburban Steps To Rockland – The Story of The Ealing Club is to be shown on Sky television this autumn. A crowd funding campaign has been launched to cover some of the music licensing costs.

David Bowler, the chief executive of Gunnersbury, said: “Gunnersbury CIC is delighted to launch its partnership with Chiswick Book Festival by hosting this event. Working with dedicated, enthusiastic local experts, to uncover and present stories about the rich cultural heritage of west London, is key to our mission as the local museum service for Ealing and Hounslow.

“Robert Hokum’s talk and publication perfectly complements our museum collection which contains artefacts, archives and displays representing the role of local people and places in the story of the development of blues, rock and pop in the UK.”

The evening will be sponsored by the University of West London (UWL), which is home to London College of Music and where Freddie Mercury, Ronnie Wood and Pete Townshend all studied.

“We were delighted when Gunnersbury invited us to hold an event there” said Torin Douglas, director of the Chiswick Book Festival. “The park and museum have been beautifully restored and it will be wonderful to open the Festival at Chiswick House and close it at Gunnersbury, another historic house in west London. Gunnersbury has some terrific cultural displays – Freddie Mercury is celebrated there – and we hope to help it build further links with writers in Ealing.”

  • Tickets for How West London Rocked the World are available here.
  • The A-Z of Ealing Rock (ISBN 978-1-78926-463-0; is available price £10 from here.

Royal makes a scorching return to Ealing

Ealing Club veteran Jimmy Royal at The Red Room 24 July 2019

It was one of the hottest nights of the year on 25 July when James Royal returned to perform at Ealing’s historic Red Room for the first time since 1967.

Fifty-two years on, Royal’s scorching set showed he was still in excellent voice as he ran through a programme of R&B and rock ‘n’ roll standards with a band which included two other 1960s Ealing Club veterans Terry Marshall on sax and  Nick Simper on bass.  

Marshall was an Ealing Club regular with the Soul Messengers; Simper played on Wednesdays with the Delta 5. Fronting Jimmy Royal & The Hawks, James had a residency at the Club’s Thursday night twist sessions.

His 2019 backing band also included Strawbs drummer and Part of The Union co-writer Richard Ford.

Ealing Club veteran Jimmy Royal at The Red Room with Nick Simper, bass; Terry Marshal, sax; Richard Hudson, drums.

James moved to Brisbane, Australia in 1984 after a career as a singer with record releases on the Decca, Parlophone, CBS, Carnaby, and Philips labels.

Now known as the Red Room, the basement premises opposite Ealing Broadway operated as the Ealing Cub which from March 1962 was the UK’s first R&B venue notable as the place where the members of the Rolling Stones first met and played together and The Who played some of their earliest gigs.