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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Monday, January 21, 2013

Poor Boy Blues - King Curtis & Champion Jack Dupree

From King Curtis & Champion Jack Dupree Live from Montreux June 17th 1971 with Cornell Dupree on guitar, Jerry Jemmott on bass and Oliver Jackson on drums. Filmed two months before King Curtis' tragic death. William Thomas Dupree, best known as Champion Jack Dupree, was an American blues pianist. His birth date is disputed, given as July 4, July 10, and July 23, in the years 1908, 1909, or 1910. He died on January 21, 1992. Champion Jack Dupree was the embodiment of the New Orleans blues and boogie woogie pianist, a barrelhouse "professor". His father was from the Belgian Congo and his mother was part African American and Cherokee. He was orphaned at the age of two, and sent to the New Orleans Home for Colored Waifs (also the alma mater of Louis Armstrong). He taught himself piano there and later apprenticed with Tuts Washington and Willie Hall, whom he called his 'father' and from whom he learned "Junker's Blues". He was also "spy boy" for the Yellow Pochahantas tribe of Mardi Gras Indians and soon began playing in barrelhouses and other drinking establishments. He began a life of travelling, living in Chicago, where he worked with Georgia Tom, and in Indianapolis, Indiana where he met Scrapper Blackwell and Leroy Carr. While always playing piano he also worked as a cook. In Detroit, after Joe Louis encouraged him to become a boxer, he fought in 107 bouts, winning Golden Gloves and other championships and picking up the nickname 'Champion Jack', which he used the rest of his life. He returned to Chicago at the age of 30 and joined a circle of recording artists, including Big Bill Broonzy and Tampa Red, who introduced him to the record producer Lester Melrose, who claimed composer credit and publishing on many of Dupree's songs. Dupree's career was interrupted by military service in World War II. He was a cook in the United States Navy and spent two years as a Japanese prisoner of war. Afterwards his biggest commercial success was "Walkin' the Blues", which he recorded as a duet with Teddy McRae. This led to several national tours, and eventually to a European tour. Dupree moved to Europe in 1960, first settling in Switzerland and then Denmark, England, Sweden and, finally, Germany. During the 1970s and 1980s he lived at Ovenden in Halifax, England and a piano used by Dupree was later re-discovered at Calderdale College in Halifax. Dupree continued to record in Europe with Kenn Lending Band, Louisiana Red and Axel Zwingenberger and made many live appearances, still working as a cook specializing in New Orleans cuisine. He returned to the United States from time to time and appeared at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Dupree died of cancer on January 21, 1992 in Hanover, Germany. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

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