"LInda Lu." John Hale ressurects one of the great Texas Bluesmen, Ray Sharpe, and his hit Linda Lu. When I arrived in Bermuda in the early 1960s I had never heard this song before, the Top 40 stations in the U.S. wouldn't play black artists, instead relying on Soul Men like Pat Boone to cover the songs in an acceptable way. TDR
If you're a Texas guy with a desire to become a guitar slinger in the Texas tradition, there are certain songs that you just have to learn to play. One of those is this rockabilly classic, Ray Sharpe's Linda Lu. Sharpe was born in Fort Worth, and he held the distinction of being one of the very few black rockabilly artists.
Sharpe grew up being influenced by both country music, and the blues, and his guitar style was greatly influenced by Chuck Berry. Sharpe and his group made their reputations playing clubs in the Fort Worth area in the fifties and early sixties. As for Linda Lu, it was produced by Lee Hazlewood, who would go on a few years later to record several hit records with Nancy Sinatra. Linda Lu, while not a top ten hit, has been very popular with other artists, being later recorded by the likes of the Rolling Stones, The Kingsmen, Tom Jones, and the Sir Douglas Quintet. "Linda Lu" is Texas rock & roll at its' best!
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