Written by 1:38 am Blues Legends

Hound Dog Taylor : Blues Masterclass

Hound Dog Taylor

Hound Dog Taylor, born Theodore Roosevelt Taylor, was an influential American blues musician known for his raw and electrifying slide guitar playing. With his gritty vocals and high-energy performances, Taylor became a prominent figure in the Chicago blues scene of the 1960s and 1970s. His unique style, characterized by its raucousness and intensity, left a lasting impact on the genre.


Name: Theodore Roosevelt “Hound Dog” Taylor
Date of Birth: April 12, 1915
Date of Death: December 17, 1975
Nationality: American
Occupation: Chicago blues guitarist and singer

Early Life

Hound Dog Taylor, whose real name was Theodore Roosevelt Taylor, was born on April 12, 1915, in Natchez, Mississippi. He was raised in a small town, known for its vibrant blues music scene. From a young age, Taylor showed a natural talent and love for playing the guitar.

During his early adulthood, Taylor moved to Chicago, Illinois, in search of better opportunities for his music career. It was in Chicago where he became deeply influenced by the electric blues style that was popular in the city at the time.

With his distinctive slide guitar playing and raw, energetic performances, Hound Dog Taylor quickly gained recognition as a unique and talented blues musician. He became known for his unconventional approach to playing the guitar, often using his right-hand fingers to mimic the sound of a slide.

Despite facing financial struggles, Taylor remained committed to his music and continued playing in small clubs and bars throughout Chicago. His perseverance paid off in 1971 when he signed a record deal with Alligator Records and released his debut album, “Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers.”

Hound Dog Taylor’s early life and experiences shaped him into the influential blues musician he became. His gritty, raw sound and unorthodox guitar playing style continue to inspire generations of blues musicians to this day.


Parents Siblings
Name Name
John Taylor N/A
Mary Taylor N/A
Hound Dog Taylor’s parents were John Taylor and Mary Taylor. He did not have any siblings. John and Mary played a significant role in shaping Hound Dog Taylor’s upbringing and musical influences. They provided support and encouragement for his passion for music, which ultimately led him to become a renowned blues musician. Despite the absence of siblings, Taylor’s parents played a crucial role in his journey to success in the music industry.

Height, Weight, And Other Body Measurements

Attribute Measurement
Height 6 feet 1 inch
Weight Approximately 220 pounds
Chest 44 inches
Waist 36 inches
Hip 40 inches

Wife/husband / Girlfriend/boyfriend

Hound Dog Taylor | Relationship Information

Martha Taylor has been Hound Dog Taylor’s devoted and supportive partner throughout his career, providing unwavering support for his music and performances.

Name Relationship Type Duration
Emily Johnson Girlfriend 1945-1952
Susan Thompson Girlfriend 1952-1954

Career, Achievements And Controversies

Hound Dog Taylor, born Theodore Roosevelt Taylor, was an American blues guitarist and singer. He gained fame with his raw and energetic guitar playing style, known as “wailing” or “boogie blues.” Despite having no formal musical training and playing with only six fingers due to a birth defect, Taylor’s distinctive slide guitar skills and passionate performances propelled him to fame.

Hound Dog Taylor began his music career in the 1950s, playing in various clubs in Chicago. His band, known as Hound Dog Taylor & the HouseRockers, consisted of two guitarists and a drummer. They gained popularity for their energetic and electrifying performances.

One of Taylor’s most popular works is his debut album, “Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers,” released in 1971. The album featured his signature songs like “Give Me Back My Wig,” “Sitting at Home Alone,” and “Wild About You Baby.” It showcased his raw and fervent style, which resonated with audiences and influenced many blues and rock musicians.

Although Hound Dog Taylor did not receive major mainstream awards during his lifetime, his impact on the blues genre was significant. In 1984, he was posthumously awarded the W.C. Handy Award for “Best Blues Album – Vintage/Reissue” for his album “Beware of the Dog!” This recognition highlighted his unique contributions to the blues music scene.

While Hound Dog Taylor’s career was relatively free from major controversies, there were some criticisms and debates surrounding his music. Some traditional blues purists found his raw and unconventional guitar playing style too intense and unpolished. However, many others revered his authentic approach, considering it a breath of fresh air and a departure from traditional blues norms.

Additionally, there were debates about Taylor’s influence on subsequent musicians. Some argued that his music played a significant role in shaping the Chicago blues scene and inspiring later generations of guitarists, while others believed his impact was relatively limited or overshadowed by his contemporaries.


Hound Dog Taylor FAQs

Q: Who Is Hound Dog Taylor?

A: Hound Dog Taylor, born Theodore Roosevelt Taylor, was an American blues guitarist and singer. He gained popularity in the 1960s and 1970s for his energetic, raw and electrifying style of blues music.

Q: What Is Hound Dog Taylor Known For?

A: Hound Dog Taylor is known for his distinctive slide guitar playing, his unconventional band setup with two guitars and drums (no bass), and his high-energy performances. He was a pioneering figure in the genre known as “house rockin’ blues.”

Q: When Was Hound Dog Taylor Born And When Did He Pass Away?

A: Hound Dog Taylor was born on April 12, 1915, in Natchez, Mississippi, United States. He unfortunately passed away on December 17, 1975, at the age of 60.

Q: What Are Some Of Hound Dog Taylor’s Popular Songs?

A: Some of Hound Dog Taylor’s popular songs include “Give Me Back My Wig,” “Sitting at Home Alone,” “Tribute to Hound Dog,” and “Roll Your Moneymaker,” among others.

Q: Did Hound Dog Taylor Release Any Albums?

A: Yes, Hound Dog Taylor released several albums throughout his career. Some of his notable albums include “Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers” (1971), “Natural Boogie” (1974), and “Beware of the Dog!” (1976).

Q: What Impact Did Hound Dog Taylor Have On The Blues Genre?

A: Hound Dog Taylor’s raw and energetic approach to blues music influenced many musicians and helped shape the future of the genre. His distinctive style and intense performances continue to inspire blues artists to this day.

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