Robert Lockwood Jr. was born in Turkey Scratch, Arkansas on March 27, 1915. He was the godson and musical heir to Robert Johnson, who is considered the greatest of the delta bluesmen.
Lockwood's recording career began in the 1930s with the Bluebird label in Chicago, but he then returned to Arkansas to start his longtime association with Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller), and in 1941 the two were featured on the first King Biscuit Time radio show on KFFA in Helena. The rest of the 40s saw Lockwood playing in cities such as Memphis, St. Louis, and Chicago. In 1950, Lockwood settled in Chicago and became a session musician for Chess Records, accompanying artists like Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. He also recorded as a solo artist for other labels, including Decca.
In 1961, Lockwood moved to Cleveland, and during ensuing decades played many area venues, while continuing to record as a solo artist, and these years produced some of his best recorded work.
During his final years, he and his band the "All-Stars" were a fixture on Wednesday nights at Fat Fish Blue in Downtown Cleveland. The "All-Stars" still carry on this Wednesday tradition.
Robert Lockwood Jr. passed away at the age of 91 on November 21, 2006.
Robert Lockwood Jr.'s career was legendary, his accomplishments legion. Here is a brief sample:
Two W.C Handy awards, a National Heritage Fellowship award, one Grammy award, two Grammy nomination, an honorary doctorate (from Case Western Resereve University), an honorary degree (from Cleveland State University), induction into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame, the Delta Blues Hall of Fame, and now the Cleveland Blues Society Hall of Fame.