Sam John Hopkins (Centerville, Texas15 March 1912 - Houston (Texas)January 30, 1982), better known as Lightnin ' Hopkins, was an American country blues singersongwriter, guitarist, and songwriter from Houston in Texas. "Lightnin '" Hopkins ("Poor Lightnin '", as he himself like mentioned in the third person), was a great innovator of the Texas blues. He is also regarded as one of the pioneers of the electric guitar, an instrument that he just like the acoustic guitar played on a very own way.Despite the fact that he is a real House Sparrow was and never went far beyond Houston, Hopkins ' plates are now all over the world at blues lovers popular. Rolling Stone Magazine took Hopkins as number 71 in its list of the hundred greatest guitarists of all time.

Hopkins ' discography is rather confusing because his music on over 25 labels is released. He also never signed contracts due to a deep-seated mistrust of "the white man"; rather he pay per recorded song. That led to him many texts devised at the time of recording (as he himself called "air music") on existing melodies. He changed his text with every new version, never let a song sounded identical to what he had previously hear.


  • 1959- Lightnin ' Hopkins Strums the Blues (Score)
  • 1959- Lightnin ' Hopkins (Folkways)
  • 1959- Lightnin ' and the Blues (Herald)
  • 1960- Country Blues (Tradition Records)
  • 1960- Last Night Blues (Bluesville, along with Sonny Terry)
  • 1960- Mojo Hand (Fire Records)
  • 1960- Lightnin ' (Bluesville)
  • 1960- Lightnin ' In New York (Candid Records)
  • 1961- Autobiography in Blues (Tradition)
  • 1961- Blues in My Bottle (Bluesville)
  • 1962- Walkin' This Road By Myself (Bluesville)
  • 1962- Lightnin ' and co. (Bluesville)
  • 1962- Lightnin ' Strikes (Vee-Jay Records)
  • 1963- Blues Hoot (Vee-Jay Records; live performance in The Ash Grove 1961 with Sonny TerryBrownie McGhee and Big Joe Williams)
  • 1963- Smokes Like Lightnin ' (Bluesville)
  • 1963- goin' Away (Bluesville)
  • 1964- Down Home Blues (Bluesville)
  • 1965- Hootin' the Blues (Bluesville)
  • 1965- Lightnin ' Strikes (Tradition)
  • 1965- The Roots of Lightnin ' Hopkins (Verve Folkways)
  • 1966- Soul Blues (Bluesville)
  • 1967- My Life in the Blues (Bluesville)
  • 1967- Original Folk Blues (Kent Records)
  • 1967- Lightnin '! (Arhoolie Records)
  • 1968- Freeform Patterns (International Artists)
  • 1969- California Mudslide (and Earthquake)
  • 1991- Swarthmore Concert Live, 1964
  • 1991- Sittin' in with Lightnin ' Hopkins (Mainstream Records)
  • 1991- The Hopkins Bros. (Arhoolie Records, with his brothers Joel and John Henry)
  • 1992- Lonesome Life (Home Cooking/collectables)
  • 1992- it's a Sin to Be Rich (Gitanes Jazz Productions)
  • 1993- Mojo Hand: The Lightnin ' Hopkins Anthology (Rhino Records)
  • 1995- Po ' Lightning (Arhoolie Records)
  • 1999- The Very Best of Lightnin ' Hopkins (Rhino Records)
  • 2010- His Blues (Ace Records)


  • The Blues Accordin' to Lightnin ' Hopkins (1969), directed by Les Blank and Skip Gerson (Flower Films & Video).
  • The Sun's Gonna Shine (1969), directed by Les Blank and Skip Gerson (Flower Films & Video).
  • Sounder (1972), directed by Martin Ritt. Hopkins sings "Jesus Will You Come By Here. '
  • Since 2010 is a documentary on Hopkins to Fastcut Films in production at Houston, entitled ' Where Lightnin ' Strikes. '


  • Lightnin ' Hopkins: Blues Guitar Legend of Dan Bowden.
  • Deep Down Hard Blues: Tribute to Lightnin by Sarah Ann West.
  • Lightnin ' Hopkins: His Life and Blues by Alan Govenar (Chicago Review Press).

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