Covers Week- Song: “Big Boss Man”

“Big Boss Man” was written by Al Smith and Luther Dixon. The song was originally released by Jimmy Reed in 1960. Since Jimmy Reed’s release over 20 artists or bands have covered and recorded the song.

Jimmy Reed
The Animals
Buddy Scott
The Yardbirds
John Hammond
Jerry Lee Lewis
John Dee Holeman
A man who calls himself Miles

video below.

and Elvis. The video quality is poor, the audio quality is better.


7 Responses to Covers Week- Song: “Big Boss Man”

  1. A. says:

    I could only find a list of 20 studio recordings, but the list was definitely outdated. I’m sure there hundreds, maybe thousands of covers of BBM.

  2. Juke says:

    Only 20 bands?? That surprises me. If we include small lesser-known blues bands (which is 98% of the entire genre), it must be more than that!

  3. A. says:

    You are very welcome. Miles and Jack are beautiful men and I think both are deserving of having their stories and/or visions heard.

    The end of the last video (part four) always makes me cry.

  4. Omphalos says:

    Ash, THANK YOU. Jack Lee’s blog is as fascinating as it is heartbreaking. His videos of Miles stopped me in my tracks. My dad was homeless in Texas for many years. I’m so glad I asked you about Miles! Bless you for your empathy. Not everyone’s got that.

  5. A. says:

    Another note: The man speaking and recording is Jack Lee. Fantastic guy.

  6. A. says:

    You can see the video the audio was pulled from here:

    You can also read more about Miles and watch more recordings of him here:

    He’s a cool dude, despite his position. I try to find him and bring him soup or Amy’s Ice Cream whenever I’m in Austin.

  7. Omphalos says:

    What a collection of interesting voices!

    There must be something about the defiant lyrics and rallying rhythm that appeals to men with such roughed-up, lived-in voices. The homeless guy is especially interesting — do you know more of his story? Who recorded him? Was it in a studio or on the street? I wonder if a woman has ever recorded the number, or if it’s a particulary male anthem.

    I think my favorite version is the John Dee Holeman. I’m a sucker for the old bare blues sound. Great voice, too. Thanks so much for putting this together, Ash! It was fun to listen to the different takes. Must have took some doing, and it’s very much appreciated.

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