Pete "Guitar" Lewis

Most Influential Person

American R&B guitarist with Johnny Otis

Why Is Pete "Guitar" Lewis Influential?

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According to Wikipedia, Pete "Guitar" Lewis was an American rhythm and blues guitarist and occasional harmonica player, best known as a session musician and performer with Johnny Otis in the late 1940s and 1950s. Biography Though details of his life are uncertain, researchers Bob Eagle and Eric LeBlanc state that he was born Carl Lewis in Oklahoma City. Influenced in his guitar playing by T-Bone Walker, he was discovered by Johnny Otis performing in an amateur hour event at the Barrelhouse Club in Los Angeles in 1947. He was recruited to Otis' band, and performed and recorded with him until about 1956. One reviewer says of Lewis:[He] took the electric guitar to new heights, offering sophisticated turns of phrase that bordered on jazz-inflected, to low-down gut bucket riffs that were unceremoniously wrenched out of his instrument — sometimes, all in the same song, or if need be, in the short space of a twelve-bar solo. His playing is at once, crisp, precise, and gritty — not to mention endlessly inventive — the perfect complement to Otis' rocking big band.

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