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Robert Lockwood learned the rudiments of blues guitar from his stepfather, blues icon Robert Johnson, during his Arkansas childhood. Instead of simply imitating Johnson's guitar style, though, Lockwood created his own. Lockwood employed jazz chords and intricate solos, pointing as much to Charlie Christian and T-Bone Walker, two other guitar greats of the period, as to Johnson. As a teen, Lockwood met up with blues harmonica player Sonny Boy Williamson, becoming a regular on "King Biscuit Time," the KFFA blues radio show out of Helena, Arkansas. With Lockwood's guitar work and Williamson's harp licks and blues banter, the show was an immediate hit and quickly became the most influential blues program of its time. By 1950 Lockwood yearned for a recording career. He moved to Chicago, working as a Chess Records sideman and eventually becoming a member of the Aces, a proto-electric blues band that had featured harp legend Little Walter Jacobs. Lockwood played behind many of the major blues artists of the era, including his old friend Sonny Boy Williamson. In 1961, tired of the Chicago blues grind, Lockwood relocated to Cleveland, where he continues to reside. Still performing and recording in his mid-80s, Lockwood, along with B.B. King, Pinetop Perkins and James Cotton, represents the last major link to the birth of modern blues.

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