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Johnny 'Guitar' Watson
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    (February 3, 1935-May 17, 1996)
    Born in Houston, Texas
    Birth name was John Watson, Jr.
    Recorded the albums 'Gangster of Love' (1957), 'The Blues Soul of Johnny Guitar Watson' (1964), 'Two for the Price of One' (with Larry Williams, 1967), 'The Gangster Is Back' (1975), 'Ain't That A Bitch' (1976), 'A Real Mother For Ya' (1977), 'Funk Beyond the Call of Duty' (1978), 'What the Hell Is This?' (1979), 'Love Jones' (1980), 'Hit the Highway' (1985) and 'Bow Wow' (1994)
    His grandfather bought him a guitar if he agreed not to play 'the devil's music,' but he immediately broke his promise.
    He dressed like a pimp.
    During slow times in his music career, he became a pimp.
    Asked if his song 'Telephone Bill' had anticipated rap, he replied, 'Anticipated? I damn well invented it!'
    He changed with the times, evolving from pure blues in the 50s to funk in the 70s.
    Steve Miller covered his 'Gangster of Love' and referenced it in 'Space Cowboy' and 'The Joker.'
    Jimmie Vaughan said, 'When my brother Stevie and I were growing up in Dallas, we idolized very few guitarists.... Johnny 'Guitar' Watson was at the top of the list.'
    He died on stage playing at the Blues Cafe in Yokohama, Japan.

Credit: C. Fishel

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