This Harlem Jazz & Music Festival Performance is a HLNJ Hosted Event Lonnie Youngblood hails from Augusta, Georgia. His first professional job was backing up Pearl Reaves in 1959; where he got his name. Pearl Reaves convinced Lonnie Thomas to take the name Lonnie Youngblood and the rest is history. Youngblood’s main influence is King Curtis, although his earliest influence was his mother’s favorite artist Louis Jordan. Youngblood’s first solo recording, “Heartbreak” became a hit and helped him secure work as bandleader for Faye Adams, Buster Brown, and Baby Washington. Youngblood was a regular on college campuses in the ’60s and appeared numerous times at the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity at Dartmouth College on which the Delta House in the film Animal House was largely based. Youngblood is highly noted for his work with Jimi Hendrix. They began recording sessions in the mid 60s. Three of these sessions yielded the Youngblood singles “Goodbye, Bessie Mae”/ “Soul Food (That’s What I Like)” and “Go Go Shoes” (Parts 1 & 2), and five singles by other artists. Youngblood and Hendrix remained friends up until Jimi’s death in 1970.
Youngblood has worked with James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Ben E. King, Sam & Dave, and many other soul greats. Lonnie Youngblood continues to perform, and is also named the “Prince of Harlem”.