Earl Hooker (January 15, 1929 – April 21, 1970) was an American blues guitarist.
Born Earl Zebedee Hooker in Clarksdale, Mississippi, his impoverished family moved to Chicago, Illinois when he was still an infant. Influenced by parents and relatives who played music, he was a cousin of John Lee Hooker and began playing guitar as a teenager. An instrumentalist, within a few years Hooker put together a band that toured the United States and made some of his first recordings for Sam Phillips at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. He eventually became an important part of the Chicago blues scene. Hooker played in the American Folk Blues Festival in England in 1969. Although he never received the public recognition to the same extent as some of his contemporaries, Jimi Hendrix proclaimed Earl Hooker as the "master of the wah-wah" and his talent was greatly respected by other notable musicians such as B.B. King, Ike Turner, Junior Wells, and Buddy Guy. Hooker played slide guitar on the 1962 Muddy Waters recording, "You Shook Me." He was the only slide player on a Muddy Waters recording besides Muddy himself. Hooker also helped popularized the double-neck guitar.
Earl Hooker died at the age of 41 after a lifelong struggle against tuberculosis, which is alluded to in the title of a 1972 compilation album of his work, "There's a Fungus Among Us." He was interred in the Restvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois. His story was told in a 2001 book by author Sebastian Danchin titled Earl Hooker, Blues Master. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.