John Mayall, OBE, is the godfather of the British blues. A singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, he has been a bandleader and recording artist since 1965. A generation older than most of his sidemen, Mayall was a mentor; his bands were both a lab and finishing school for iconic musicians -- particularly guitarists. Eric Clapton, Peter Green, and Mick Taylor served, as did bassists Jack Bruce and John McVie and drummers Mick Fleetwood and Aynsley Dunbar, among dozens of others. Five of Mayall's first seven albums, including 1966's Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton, 1967's A Hard Road, and 1969's The Turning Point, all placed inside the British Top Ten.