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Long John Hunter (1931 - 2016)

Getty Images / FilmMagic / Photo by D Dipasupil

Long John Hunter (1931 - 2016)

Long John Hunter, the Louisiana-born blues guitarist who released seven solo albums over the course of a six-decade career, has died, according to The Associated Press. He was 84.

Hunter died Jan. 4 at his home in Phoenix, Arizona. The death was announced by Hunter's record label, but no cause of death was released at the time.

Born John Thurman Hunter Jr. July 13, 1931, in Ringgold, Louisiana, he grew up there and in Magnolia, Arkansas. He didn't buy his first guitar until the 1950s. Inspired by B.B. King's concert performance to make his own music, he began calling himself Long John Hunter in 1953. After moving to El Paso, Texas, he found steady playing gigs for 13 years in Juarez, Mexico, at the Lobby Club.


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He released his debut album, Texas Border Town Blues, in 1988 on the Double Trouble record label. In the 1990s, he toured as an international headliner. He released the albums Ride With Me (1992) and Bordertown Legend (1996) on the Alligator label. His final album, Looking for a Party, came out in 2009.

Hunter's best-known tracks are "El Paso Rock" and "Alligators Around My Door," the latter of which the artist co-wrote with Bruce Iglauer.

Hunter played the Jazz Foundation of America’s A Great Night in Harlem Benefit in 2013 on a bill that also featured Elvis Costello and Macy Gray.

Hunter is survived by his wife, Gayle, and brother, Tom. Funeral services are pending.

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