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I was lucky to have met Pinetop in 2004, and even luckier that he took an interest in messing around with my guitar



From Wkikpedia

Pinetop Perkins

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pinetop Perkins

At the Riverwalk Blues Festival in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, October 1, 2006
Background information
Birth name Joseph William Perkins
Born July 7, 1913
Died March 21, 2011 (aged 97)
Genres Piano blues
Delta blues
Chicago blues
Occupations PianistSinger
Instruments PianoVocalsKeyboards
Years active 1920s–2011
Labels Blind Pig Records
Website Pinetop Perkins.com

Joseph William Perkins (July 7, 1913 – March 21, 2011), better known by the stage name Pinetop Perkins, was anAmerican Blues musician, specializing in piano music. He played with some of the most influential blues and rock and roll performers in American history, and received numerous honors during his lifetime including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and induction into the Blues Hall of Fame.



Life and career

Perkins was born in BelzoniMississippi.[1] He began his career as a guitarist, but then injured the tendons in his left arm in a fight with a choirgirl in HelenaArkansas. Unable to play guitar, Perkins switched to the piano, and also switched from Robert Nighthawk's KFFA radio program to Sonny Boy Williamson's King Biscuit Time.[2] He continued working with Nighthawk, however, accompanying him on 1950's "Jackson Town Gal".

In the 1950s, Perkins joined Earl Hooker and began touring, stopping to record "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie" (written by Pinetop Smith) at Sam Phillips' studio in MemphisTennessee. ("They used to call me Pinetop," he recalled, "because I played that song.")[3] However, Perkins was only 15 years old in 1928, when Smith originally recorded "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie".

Perkins then relocated to Illinois and left music until Hooker convinced him to record again in 1968.

When Otis Spann left the Muddy Waters band in 1969, Perkins was chosen to replace him.[2] He stayed for more than a decade, then left with several other musicians to form The Legendary Blues Band with Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, recording through the late 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s.[2]

Although he has appeared as a sideman on countless recordings, Perkins never had an album devoted solely to his artistry, until the release of After Hours on Blind Pig Records in 1988.[4] The tour in support of the album also featured Jimmy Rogers and Hubert Sumlin.

His robust piano is fairly presented in On Top (1992), an easy-going recital of blues standards with his old Waters' associate, Jerry Portnoy on harmonica.[2]

In 1998 Perkins released the album Legends featuring guitarist Hubert Sumlin.

Perkins was driving his automobile in 2004 in La PorteIndiana, when he was hit by a train. The car was wrecked, but the 91-year-old driver was not seriously hurt. Until his death, Perkins lived in AustinTexas. He usually performed a couple of nights a week at Nuno's on Sixth Street. In 2005, Perkins received theGrammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2008, Perkins received a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album for Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen: Live In Dallas together with Henry James TownsendRobert Lockwood, Jr.and David Honeyboy Edwards. He was also nominated in the same category for his solo album, Pinetop Perkins on the 88's: Live in Chicago.

The song "Hey Mr. Pinetop Perkins", performed by Perkins and Angela Strehli, plays on the common misconception that Perkins wrote "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie":

Hey Mr. Pinetop Perkins
I got a question for you
How'd you write that first boogie woogie
The one they named after you

Mr. Perkins played a brief musical cameo on the street outside Aretha's Soul Food Cafe in the 1980 movieThe Blues Brothers, having an argument with John Lee Hooker over who wrote "Boom Boom." He also appeared in the 1987 movie Angel Heart as a member of guitarist Toots Sweet's band.

At age 97, he won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album for Joined at the Hip, an album he recorded with Willie "Big Eyes" Smith. Perkins passed away on Monday, March 21, 2011 at his home inAustinTexas also at 97.

Discography (selection)

  • 1976: Boogie Woogie ***KiNG***
  • 1977: Hard Again (Muddy Waters)
  • 1988: After Hours
  • 1992: Pinetop Perkins with the Blue Ice Band
  • 1992: On Top
  • 1993: Portrait of a Delta Bluesman
  • 1995: Live Top (with the Blue Flames)
  • 1996: Eye to Eye (with Ronnie EarlWillie "Big Eyes" Smith and Calvin “Fuzz” Jones)[5]
  • 1997: Born in the Delta
  • 1998: Sweet Black Angel
  • 1998: Legends (with Hubert Sumlin)
  • 1999: Live at 85! (with George Kilby Jr)
  • 2000: Back On Top
  • 2003: Heritage of the Blues: The Complete Hightone Sessions
  • 2003: All Star Blues Jam (with Bob Margolin et. al.)
  • 2004: Ladies Man
  • 2008: Pinetop Perkins and Friends
  • 2010: Joined At the Hip (with Willie "Big Eyes" Smith)


See also


  1. ^ IMDb database birth information
  2. a b c d Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues - From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. p. 154. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 
  3. ^ Joe Willie "Pinetop" Perkins, 2000 NEA National Heritage Fellowships
  4. ^ Blind Pig Records website notes - accessed January 2008
  5. ^ "Eye to Eye"Valley Entertainment-Sledgehammer Blues. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 

External links



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R.I.P Pinetop, and thanks for the music!
I've met him before too, and seen him play several times. He was a nice guy and loved the ladies.

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