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Posts Tagged ‘St. Louis’


Pete Johnson was a drummer before he took up piano in the clubs and bars of Kansas City in the mid-20s. He teamed up with Big Joe Turner and they spent over ten years honing their act in upscale nightspots like The Sunset Cafe. After seeing Pete play in Kansas, producer John Hammond brought him…

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St.Louis pianist and singer Peetie Wheatstraw was not a great player- his piano skills were little more than functional- but his singing, with it’s almost arrogant self-confidence, his trademark ‘Ooh well,well’, and his clever way with a lyric made him one of the best-selling Blues artists of the 30s. William Bunch of Ripley TN arrived…

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St. Louis was a big Blues town in the 20s and 30s, and Mississippi born Henry was at the epicentre of the scene there. A fine singer, he recorded with his open-tuned slide guitar for Columbia in 1929 and Paramount in 1931. He taught himself to play piano and became one of the city’s most…

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Mississippi born Walter was a young self-taught pianist when he set out for St.Louis in the mid-20s, but he fitted right in to the scene that had Peetie Wheatstraw or Roosevelt Sykes playing most nights. Heavily influenced by Leroy Carr and possessed of a mournful vocal tone, Walter cut his first record ‘M&O Blues’ was…

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‘The Honeydripper’, Roosevelt Sykes was probably the most important of the several piano Blues innovators who came out of St.Louis the inter-war years. This square cut figure with the elegant suit and the fat cigar was capable of pounding the keys in a rowdy barrelhouse style and he could boogie-woogie with the best of them,…

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