By the time Alexis Korner died, aged 55, on New Years Day 1984, he had secured himself a place in history. Dubbed "the father of British blues", he had become a mentor to generations of musicians. Out of Blues Incorporated, Korner's original band, came bands, such as the Rolling Stones, Cream, the Animals, Free and Led Zeppelin. Others to come under his influence ranged from the Beatles and Elton John to Alison Moyet and Paul Young. In writing Korner's life-story, Harry Shapiro has had the co-operation of his subject's family and estate, access to her personal papers, tapes and memorabilia, and the assistance of many of the rock stars, including Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman and Pete Townshend, who benefited so much from Korner's friendship and influence.
This biography recounts: Korner's early life travelling around Europe and North Africa; his settling in wartime London and pretending to be in the Free French Army while discovering jazz and blues from records stolen from Soho shops; his membership of Chris Barber's jazz band; his role in the development of skiffle; his founding, with Cyril Davies, of the Blues and Barrelhouse Club and of Blues Incorporated; his inspirational effect on younger musicians; and his immense success with his Sunday evening Radio 1 show, "Blues is Where You Hear It", which ran for 20 years. The book includes a comprehensive discography of Alexis Korner's numerous recordings. Harry Shapiro is the author of "Waiting for the Man: The Story of Drugs and Popular Music", "Slowhand: The Story of Eric Clapton", "Jimi Hendrix: Electric Gypsy", "Eric Clapton: Lost in the Blues" and "Graham Bond: The Mighty Shadow".