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John Mayall

"John Mayall", OBE, (born 29 November 1933) is a pioneering British blues singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He was the founder of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and has been influential in the careers of many instrumentalists, including Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Mick Taylor, Don Harris, Harvey Mandel, Larry Taylor, Aynsley Dunbar, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Andy Fraser, Johnny Almond and Jon Mark.

Mayall was born in Macclesfield, Cheshire, the son of Murray Mayall, a guitarist and jazz enthusiast. From an early age, he was drawn to the sounds of American blues players such as Leadbelly, Albert Ammons, Pinetop Smith, and Eddie Lang, and taught himself to play the piano, guitars, and harmonica.

Mayall attended art college and then had three years of national service with the British Army in Korea. In 1956, he started playing blues with semi-professional bands named "The Powerhouse Four" and, later, "The Blues Syndicate". Under the influence of Alexis Korner, he moved to London and formed "John Mayall's Bluesbreakers".

The band was always something of a training ground for blues musicians, and went through several c...

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