Johnnie Bassett (born October 9, 1935 in Marianna , Florida ; † August 4, 2012 in Detroit ) was an American blues and jazz musician ( guitar , vocals ) and songwriter , known in Detroit as the "Gentleman of the Blues" was designated.
Bassett came to Detroit with his family in 1944; while at Northwestern High School he got his first guitar from his brother. As a teenager he appeared in talent shows, theaters and nightclubs with his school friend Joe Weaver, the band they called Joe Weaver & The Blue Notes . A first record was made in the back room of a record shop on Hastings Street; the song 15:40 Special was released on the Deluxe label , later on King Records . In the mid-1950s, Bassett and the Blue Notes had an engagement at the Frolic Showbar on Basin Street East, where they also had the opportunity to accompany R&B singer Dinah Washington . At the end of the decade he was a session musician for Smokey Robinson & the Miracles , as well as for the Detroit label Fortune Records . He also starred in Detroit with John Lee Hooker , Little Willie John, and Nolan Strong .
After completing his military service, Bassett lived in Seattle in the early 1960s , where he also met the young Jimi Hendrix . In the early 1990s he played with RJ Spangler, with whom he made a guest appearance at the 1991 Montreux Detroit Jazz Festival . Together they founded the formation Blues Insurgents . Only in the years before his death did he have the opportunity for further recordings; for the label Sly Dog he recorded the album The Gentleman is Back in 2009 , with a cover version of the Ray Charles number Georgia On My Mind . Shortly before his death in early August 2012 in Detroit's St. John Hospital, his album I Can Make That Happen was released .
- Johnnie Bassett & The Blues Insurgents - I Gave My Life to the Blues (Black Magic Records, 1996)
- Johnnie Bassett - Bassett Hound (Fedora, 1997)
- Joe Weaver and His New Blue Note Orchestra Featuring Johnnie Bassett - Baby I Love You So (Black Magic Records, 1999)
- Johnnie Bassett & The Blues Insurgents - Party My Blues Away (Cannonball, 1999)
- Obituary in Detroit News ( page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Obituary in the Detroit Free Press
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||American blues and jazz musician|
|DATE OF BIRTH||October 9, 1935|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Marianna , Florida|
|DATE OF DEATH||4th August 2012|
|Place of death||Detroit|