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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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Friday, March 2, 2012

Stormy Monday - Lefty Bates


Leroy Clyde Bates
Born: May 7 , 1924
Died: March 2, 1991
Leroy was a session bass player for Chess and Vee Jay records in Chicago. He worked for many of the great Blues players of the day.
Biography
Leroy Clyde Bates was a session bass player in Chicago for Vee Jay records and the Chess label. He played the guitar also. Most of the recordings that Lefty played on list the bass player as "unknown". He worked with Howlin' Wolf, Elmore James, Muddy Waters, Pinetop Perkins, Eddie Taylor, and his personal favorite and good friend, Sunny Land Slim. You can hear him on "Big Boss Man" and "Bright Lights, Big City" by Jimmy Reed. He moved to Indianapolis in the 1950's to work as a truck driver as a better means for supporting his family. He continued through out the 1960's to do session work and helped lead the Ink Spots in the early 1970's.
Leroy is buried at Washington Park North Cemetery located on the north side of Indianapolis. Sadly, he has no grave marker. It is our hope that enough funds will be raised to purchase a proper monument befitting to his memory. Lefty was not only a superb bassist and guitarist, but was also a friend and mentor to a countless number of young musicians in the Chicago and Indianapolis areas.
Please note: There are actually 2 (two) Lefty Bates' of the same era. The "other" Lefty Bates is William Bates. He was also a musician and incredibly he also played guitar (not bass) with Jimmy Reed. It is difficult at times when researching Lefty Bates because of the similarities in not only nickname but also style of music and the fact that both men lived in Chicago at the same time. Leroy was all too aware of these strange coincidences but he never seemed bitter that he was not as well recognized as is the "other" Lefty Bates.
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