Houston Music

Some Late-Afternoon Funk From Johnny "Guitar" Watson

Amid all the Lightnin' Hopkins talk lately, Rocks Off almost let another local blues milestone get by us. Today would have been Third Ward native Johnny "Guitar" Watson's 75th birthday.

Watson, who passed away in 1996, started out as a piano player and first made his mark in the mid-'50s with the instrumental "Space Guitar," "Gangster of Love" (which he recut several times) and a cover of Earl King's "Those Lonely, Lonely Nights." By the '70s, he was the full-on funk pimp responsible for "A Real Mother for Ya," "Superman Lover" and "Ain't That a Bitch."

Johnny "Guitar" Watson, badass. Still.

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray