This 1967 song was my introduction to Hopkins. I heard this song around 1971 when I was about 14.
WDET was doing an hour-long feature on the artist and I literally fell in love with it. Also made me seek out more from the man who wrote and played it.
The Great Electric Show and Dance 1969 was the album that featured the song. Frankly I thought it went back a long way further and reality it probably did.
In 1967 a short documentary was made by film maker Les Blank called “The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins”. Now how one could sum up the bluesman’s long career in just 30 minutes is beyond me. But it was awakening to view.
At present since 2010 Houston-based Fast Cut Films, in association with Sunset Productions, is working on a documentary feature film, “Where Lightnin’ Strikes” but I have yet to hear of it having been completed.
Sam “Lightnin’” Hopkins was born on March 15, 1912 and left us on Jan. 30, 1982 at the age of 69. His career spanned from the late 1940s until the end. Meeting Blind Lemon Jefferson in the 1930s after hearing his music when very young, his journey began. It has been said that Hopkins had recorded close to a thousand songs but rarely performed outside of his home state of Texas until almost 1960 from a fear of flying.
Well he may of not flew but his music soared. With a mixture of poetry and blues this man became a legend and a permanent fixture in the history of the genre he helped to create.