Eddie ‘Guitar Slim’ Jones – Certainly All

20th December 2021 · 1950s, 1951, Blues, Music, Rock'n'Roll

Here’s another of the songs that shaped rock’n’roll, by one of the most flamboyant characters – and greatest guitarists – of that postwar era.

Guitar Slim (aka Eddie Jones) played with distorted overtones 15 years before Hendrix – who acknowledged his influence – and dyed his hair to match his brightly coloured suits.

He also had a wild stage show, playing astride an assistant’s shoulders, and used his 350-foot guitar lead to wander offstage and into the street, stopping traffic with his antics.

Born in Mississippi, Jones worked in the cotton fields in his teens and spent his spare time in juke joints, moving to New Orleans after military service in the war.

He made his name playing in clubs there, developing a guitar style influenced by T-Bone Walker and Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown.

In 1950 Jones adopted the stage name Guitar Slim, and the following year he released his first recordings, including this song, Certainly All.

Three years later he made the million-selling The Things That I Used To Do, one of the stepping stones of modern soul music – produced by a young Ray Charles, who also played the piano, having earlier covered Slim’s song Feelin’ Sad.

Sadly, Jones’s lifestyle was as wild as his stage act and guitar playing and he became an alcoholic after his career faded, dying of pneumonia in New York in 1959 when he was only 32.