There was a time when sax players were accorded the same worship as today’s guitar heroes, and Joe Houston was one of the most revered. Born in Austin, Texas in 1927, Joe soon developed wanderlust and by the late 40s had landed a tenor sax job in Chicago. Extensive touring followed until the early 50s found him on the West Coast where he changed from being blues-based to a more raucous and exciting player, exemplified by his influential ‘Blow Joe Blow’ hit from 1951. Although recording regularly for the Modern group of labels, Joe was a strictly cash-up-front man who played or recorded where money was offered, with one such excursion leading to his theme song ‘All Night Long’, which Modern eventually bought from Dolphin Records where it was recorded. Joe successfully maintained his journeyman player approach into the 2000s, delivering rocking playing and blues singing.
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