JIMI’S ALBUM COLLECTION
From page 53 of Classic Rock Magazine August 2006
From 1966 until 1969, Jimi Hendrix shared a series of London flats with his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham. At their best-known residence, 23 Brook Street, in Mayfair, Jimi had a collection of nearly 100 albums. While he
owned everything from Holst’s The Planets and Handel’s Messiah to comedian Bill Cosby’s I Started Out As A Child – reportedly Jimi’s all-time favourite album – most of his collection was dedicated to blues.
Etchingham recalls that The Best Of Elmore James , featuring the fiery Chicago slide guitarist, was
frequently on their turntable. Jimi’s love of Muddy Waters extended from the very first recordings to the
just-released Electric Mud . His other Waters favourites included The Real Folk Blues and More Real Folk Blues . Jimi’s only John Lee Hooker album, Live At Café Au Go-Go , featured the Muddy Waters band.
Jimi collected several Lightnin’ Hopkins LPs – Soul Blues, Lightnin’ Strikes, The Roots Of Lightnin’ Hopkins, Something Blue and Earth Blues among them. His many blues one-offs included The New Jimmy Reed Album, Howlin’ Wolf’s More Real Folk Blues , Charlie Musselwhite’s Stand Back! , Smokey Smothers’s The Driving Blues , Junior Wells’s It’s My Life (featuring Buddy Guy), and the old-timey Guitar Slim and Jelly Belly’s Carolina Blues .
Hendrix’s taste extended to the early pre-war acoustic blues: he owned one of Columbia’s Robert
Johnson albums, as well as Blind Blake’s Bootleg Rum Dum Blues , Lead Belly’s Take This Hammer , Washboard Sam’s Classic Blues and Sonny Boy Williamson’s Classic Blues . Jimi also enjoyed Sonny Boy Williamson II, who recorded after World War II, as evidenced by his having both Down And Out Blues and More Real Folk Blues . Among Jimi’s anthologies were American Folk
Blues Festival, We Sing The Blues, Original Golden Hits Of The Great
Blues Singers, Vol. II , and Delmark’s landmark three-record Chicago/ The Blues/Today! .
Hendrix collected many non-blues records as well, and had a special
fondness for Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited, Nashville Skyline and John Wesley Harding (from which he covered All Along The Watchtower ). And then there were records by Johnny Cash, Nina Simone,
The Charles Lloyd Quartet, Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery, Roy Harper, Otis Redding, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Joe Cocker, The Animals, The Bee-Gees, Vanilla Fudge, Ray Charles, Little Richard, Elvis...
the list goes on.
“People will argue with me,' Kathy Etchingham told James Rotondi in
Guitar Player magazine, “but I tell you, that guy was a bluesman. That’s
where his heart really lay. Anybody who tells me he would have become a jazz musician, well, balls to them. The way Jimi was, if he was with a jazz musician he liked jazz. If he was with a folk singer he liked folk. But
what he rea l y liked, and what he really played at home, was blues.'