John Lee Hooker

Boogie Chillen'

Composed by John Lee Hooker

Song Review by

The riff that launched a million songs, "Boogie Chillen" turned all the guitar players loose, each proffering their own brand of boogie after John Lee Hooker stormed to the top of the R&B charts with this crude little piece of Delta blues in 1948. The original was nothing more than Hooker, his electric guitar cranked right up, and his foot stomping away keeping the beat. Over a repeated monochord riff, Hooker made the original mold that all guitar players followed with. Most successful of all was Junior Parker, recording for the Memphis Sun label under the sobriquet of Little Junior's Blue Flames. Parker's "Feelin' Good" was a cover version, changing the tune just enough to skirt the issue of copyright and, in turn, spawning its own set of offshoot covers (Magic Sam, James Cotton) and sound-alike numbers including Sammy Lewis' "Feel So Worried," Slim Green and the Cats from Fresno's "Old Folks Boogie," and Parker's own "Feel So Bad." The tune had further legs into the hippie era, when the blues-rock group Canned Heat adapted the riff for their own "Fried Hockey Boogie." ZZ Top also appropriated a large part of it for "La Grange," their version of the riff being lifted from Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky." As for the originator, Hooker cut several answer records to his own big hit, recorded with everyone from Canned Heat to Bonnie Raitt, making sure that no one forgot to boogie in the years to come.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Welcome to the Blues, Vol. 2 1951
Various Artists
EPM 2:39
The Great John Lee Hooker 1964 P-Vine Records 3:11
Burning Hell [Catfish] 1964 Catfish 3:10
Get Back Home 1969 Evidence 2:42
No Image 1969
Alone, Vols. 1 & 2 1976 Rhino 4:22
No Image 1980 Charly Records
No Image 1983 JSP
No Image 1984
Various Artists
The Hook: 20 Years of Hits & Hot Boogie 1989 Capitol 2:28
The Collectables Blues Collection, Vol. 1 1990
Various Artists
Collectables 2:37
The Ultimate Collection (1948-1990) 1991 Rhino 3:10
Evidence Blues Sampler 1992
Various Artists
Evidence 2:42
Zeppelin Classics 1992
Various Artists
Jasrac 2:37
The Blues: A Smithsonian Collection of Classic Blues Singers 1993
Various Artists
Smithsonian Records 3:05
King of the Boogie [Drive Archive] 1994 Drive Archive
The Gold Collection [Fine Tune] 1994 Retro Records 2:36
Blues Anthology [Millenium] 1994
Various Artists
Millenium Music 2:37
The Legendary Modern Recordings 1948-1954 1994 Point Blank / Flair/Virgin 3:06
Born Under a Bad Sign [Alex] 1995
Various Artists
Alex 3:12
The Very Best of John Lee Hooker [Rhino] 1995 Rhino 3:11
Best of the Blues, Vol. 1 [Cema] 1995
Various Artists
CEMA Special Markets 3:09
Blues Legends [Boxsets 1995] 1995
Various Artists
St. Clair / Boxsets 2:32
Trouble Blues 1995 Retro Music 2:32
Boom Boom [K-Tel] 1996 K-Tel Distribution 2:35
Alone: The First Concert 1996 Blues Alliance 4:16
The Great 1996 Goldies 2:36
Electric [Collector's Edition] 1996 Collector's Edition 2:40
Legends of Blues [Intercontinental] 1997
Various Artists
Intercontinental Records 2:34
Alone: The Second Concert 1997 Blues Alliance 6:11
Golden Classics 1997 Essex 2:35
Best Blues Masters, Vol. 2 1998 P-Vine Records 2:39
The Best of Friends 1998 Shout! Factory 4:37
Best of John Lee Hooker [Music Club] 1999 Music Club Records 2:37
Best of Blues [Platinum] 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 3:09
Guitar Blues Legends 1999
Various Artists
Nostalgia 3:09
John Lee Hooker [Dressed To Kill] 1999 Dressed To Kill 2:37
Dimples [Charly] 1999 Charly Records 2:37
Absolutely the Best of the Blues, Vol. 1 1999
Various Artists
Fuel 2000 / Varese 2:38
Forever Gold 1999 St. Clair 2:33
Boom Boom: The Best of John Lee Hooker 1999 AP Music
Boom Boom and Other Classics 1999 K-Tel Distribution / Intercontinental Records 2:33
King of Boogie 1999 Prism Leisure 3:09
1949: The R&B Hits 2000
Various Artists
Indigo 3:10
Indigo Blues Collection, Vol. 5 2000
Various Artists
Indigo 3:09
Every Day I Have the Blues [Goldies Box] 2000
Various Artists
Goldies 2:37
20th Century Blues [Catfish] 2000
Various Artists
Catfish 3:08
Definitive Collection [Metro] 2000 Metro / Metro 2:36
As Good As It Gets: Jukebox Blues 2000
Various Artists
Disky 3:01
Nothing But the Blues [Import] 2000
Various Artists
Import 3:08
The Blues Roots of Led Zeppelin 2000
Various Artists
Catfish 3:09
Boogie Chillen: 1948-1949 [EPM] 2000 EPM 3:10
The Blues: Young and Wild 1948-1949/Black 'n Blue Recordings 1969 2000 Frémeaux & Associés 2:44
Shades of Blue 2001 Park South Records / Town Sound 2:35
The Legends Collection 2001 Dressed To Kill 2:37
The Boogie Man [Culture Press] 2001 Culture Press 3:09
Boogie Chillen [Indigo] 2001 Indigo 3:09
John Lee Hooker Is Hip: Greatest Hits 2001 Music Club Records 2:36
The Best of John Lee Hooker [EMI-Capitol Special Markets] 2001 EMI-Capitol Special Markets 3:09
The Man, the Legend 2001 Collectables 2:35
Classic Early Years 1948-51 2002 JSP 3:09
Black & Proud 2002
Various Artists
Golden Stars 2:36
Original Folk Blues of John Lee Hooker 2002 Ace 3:10
Boogie Chillen: Original 1948-1954 Blues Masterpieces [SACD] 2003 Audio Fidelity
Boogie Chillen' [Morada Music] 2003 Audio Fidelity 3:11
The Complete, Vol. 1 - Detroit 1948-1949 2003 Body & Soul 3:09
Blues Kingpins 2003 Virgin 3:10
The Final Recordings, Vol. 1: Face to Face 2003 Eagle Records 2:44
American Roots Songbook: The Blues from Memphis to the Mississippi Delta 2003
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:29
The Modern Records Blues Story 2003
Various Artists
Fuel 2000 3:09
I Heard It on NPR: Shake These Blues 2003
Various Artists
NPR Recordings / NPR National Public Radio 3:07
Burning Hell [Our World] 2003 Our World 3:08
I Heard It on NPR: Jazz for Blue Nights/At Home in the World/Shake These Blues 2003
Various Artists
NPR National Public Radio 3:07
Century of the Blues: The Definitive Country Blues Collection 2003
Various Artists
Chrome Dreams 3:12
A Proper Introduction to John Lee Hooker: I'm in the Mood 2004 Proper Sales & Dist. 3:12
Good Mornin' Blues 2004
Various Artists
ASV/Living Era 3:10
Bests of JLH 2004 GNP 2:40
The Blues, Vol. 2 [Platinum] 2004
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:31
Blues from the Motor City 2005 Saga Records 3:10
The Greatest Blues Show on Earth 2005
Various Artists
Fuel 2000 2:15
Story Songs and Voices of the Blues 2006 Direct Source 3:09
Blues Legend 2006 Golden Stars 3:10
Blues Kings [Direct Source] 2006
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:09
Hooker [Box Set] 2006 Shout! Factory 3:09
18 Greatest 2007 Direct Source 3:09
World's Greatest Blues Live! 2008
Various Artists
Fuel 2000 2:15
Roots of Van Morrison [Snapper UK] 2008
Various Artists
Catfish 3:10
Anthology: 50 Years 2009 Shout! Factory 3:10
King Snake At Your Door 2012 Blues Boulevard / Music Avenue 3:10
Century of the Blues 2014
Various Artists
Enlightenment 3:12
The Blues 2014 One & Only Blues
Gotta Boogie, Gotta Sing 2017 Jasmine Records 3:11
No Image
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 3:06
101 Essential Blues Tracks
Various Artists
DM Digital 3:06
101 Hits from the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame
Various Artists
DLG Digital 3:08
No Image
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 3:06
ABC of the Blues, Vol. 13 Documents 3:09
No Image
Various Artists
X5 3:10
No Image
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
No Image
Various Artists
Broken Audio 3:08
No Image QED
No Image
Various Artists
X5 3:10
Golden Oldies Hit Series, Vol. 44
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 3:06
Half a Stranger Mainstream 3:07
No Image
Various Artists
Goodman Group
Meet Me Around the Corner History 3:08
No Image
Various Artists
X5 3:06
Oldies Hits A to Z, Vol. 9
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 3:06
No Image Reloaded 3:09
blue highlight denotes editor's pick