Jo Ann Kelly

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Jo Ann Kelly (5 January 1944 – 21 October 1990)[1] was an English blues singer and guitarist. "To many American performers", an obituarist wrote, "Jo Ann Kelly was the only British singer to earn their respect for her development of what they would be justified in thinking as 'their' genre".[2]

Life and career[edit]

Kelly was born in Streatham, South London. She and her brother, Dave, were both musicians.[2] She appeared on two albums with Tony McPhee. Me and the Devil (1968) and I Asked for Water, She Gave Me Gasoline (1969) were both released on Liberty Records. She also appeared on two John Dummer Band albums: John Dummer Blues Band (1969) and Oobleedoobleejubilee (1973).

Canned Heat and Johnny Winter both tried to recruit Kelly, but she preferred to stay in the United Kingdom. She expanded to the European club circuit, where she worked with guitarist Pete Emery and with other bands.[2] In the early 1980s, she was a member of the Terry Smith Blues Band.[citation needed]

In 1988, Kelly began to suffer from headaches.[1] In 1989 she had an operation to remove a malignant brain tumour.[3] She died in 1990, aged 46.

The latest Kelly compilation album, Blues and Gospel, is available on Blues Matters! Records.

See also[edit]


  • Bane, M., (1982) White Boy Singin' the Blues, London: Penguin, 1982, ISBN 0-14-006045-6.
  • Bob Brunning, Blues: The British Connection, Helter Skelter Publishing, London 2002, ISBN 1-900924-41-2 – First edition 1986 – Second edition 1995 Blues in Britain
  • Bob Brunning, The Fleetwood Mac Story: Rumours and Lies, Omnibus Press London, 1990 and 1998, ISBN 0-7119-6907-8
  • Martin Celmins, Peter Green: Founder of Fleetwood Mac, Sanctuary London, 1995, foreword by B.B.King, ISBN 1-86074-233-5
  • Fancourt, L., (1989) British Blues on Record (1957–1970), Retrack Books.
  • Dick Heckstall-Smith, The Safest Place in the World: A Personal History of British Rhythm and Blues, 1989 Quartet Books Limited, ISBN 0-7043-2696-5. Second Edition: Blowing The Blues: Fifty Years Playing The British Blues, 2004, Clear Books, ISBN 1-904555-04-7
  • Christopher Hjort, Strange Brew: Eric Clapton and the British Blues Boom, 1965–1970, foreword by John Mayall, Jawbone 2007, ISBN 1-906002-00-2
  • Paul Myers, Long John Baldry and the Birth of the British Blues, Vancouver 2007, GreyStone Books, ISBN 1-55365-200-2
  • Harry Shapiro Alexis Korner: The Biography, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, London 1997, Discography by Mark Troster, ISBN 0-7475-3163-3
  • Schwartz, R. F., (2007) How Britain Got the Blues: The Transmission and Reception of American Blues Style in the United Kingdom Ashgate, ISBN 0-7546-5580-6.
  • Mike Vernon, The Blue Horizon story 1965–1970 vol.1, notes of the booklet of the Box Set (60 pages)


  1. ^ a b Chris Nickson. "Jo Ann Kelly | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  2. ^ a b c Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. p. 130. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.
  3. ^ "Jo-Ann Kelly Webpage". Retrieved 2017-07-22.

External links[edit]