Showman's Jazz Club, Harlem Jazz Shrines 2012. Lonnie Youngblood was born Lonnie Thomas in Augusta, GA. He got his first professional gig backing singer Pearl Reeves in 1959, relocating to Newark, NJ; he made his first solo recording, Heartbreak, not long after, and it became a regional hit. Youngblood worked as a bandleader behind Faye "Atomic" Adams, Buster Brown, and Baby Washington. In 1963, Youngblood took over leadership of Curtis Knight's R&B band. The band included a talented young guitarist who called himself Jimmy James, but was born Jimi Hendrix. The two remained friends up until Hendrix's death in 1970. Youngblood has continued to play R&B, blues and jazz for the likes of James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Ben E. King, Sam & Dave, and other soul greats. In Harlem, he is affectionately called the Prince of Harlem.