Huey Piano Smith

New Orleans pianist Huey specialised in the rocking R&B flavoured boogie-woogie that was so popular in his home-town in the early 50s.

He played local clubs in the company of his friend Eddie Jones (Guitar Slim) for about four years, and after session work with Little Richard and Lloyd Price he formed The Clowns in 1957.

They had female impersonator Bobby Marchan on vocals, and sometimes Huey would send the band on tour with James Booker on piano duties.

The Clowns enjoyed chart success with million selling records like 'Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie-Woogie Flu' and 'Don't You Just Know It', and appeared with many of the Rock'n'Roll and R&B package tours that criss-crossed the USA in the late 50s.

Huey's song 'Sea Cruise' had his vocal track erased and overdubbed with vocals by Frankie Ford to create yet another million seller.

Huey continued recording for the Ace label until 1964, when he withdrew to the club scene back in New Orleans, and subsequently retired. He died in February 2023, aged 89, at his home in Baton Rouge.

Distinctive New Orleans piano on Huey's biggest hit;