Tag Archives: Lonnie Youngblood

The Great Lonnie Youngblood

10 Aug

The last two days I got to work in the studio with one of the greatest tenor sax players I’ve ever heard, Mr. Lonnie Youngblood. I used to go and see his live set sometimes at Frank’s Cocktail Lounge in Fort Greene in Brooklyn, where he had a residency for 10 years with his r&b band. Despite really being in my opinion one of the great saxophone players of the 20th century, Lonnie’s path took some difficult turns, being signed to three consecutive record companies in the 60s who faced bankruptcy before they could bring his music to a worldwide audience. As it unfolded he became most widely known for hiring a promising 16 year old Jimi Hendrix in 1966. Lonnie’s story is unsurpassably told in the bio on his website and only paraphrased by me at best, so I urge you to read the story of how he was born with a saxophone in his mouth and grew up to play with many illustrious soul and r&b artists, led many bands, launched the career of Jimi Hendrix, fell in love at first sight with his wife of over 40 years, succumbed to and overcame drug addiction and continued all the while to grow as a great musician here: http://www.lonnieyoungblood.com/bio.php
Known as The Prince of Harlem and one of Harlem’s Sons of Fun, you can hear him ripping on Soul Serenade performed in St. Peter’s Church in New York in this video: