November 27, 2009

"ANY PIANO WITH A GOOD TUNE":

Pinetop Perkins' 80-year career still going (SHELIA BYRD, 11/27/09, Associated Press)

Noisy crowds in smoky bars don't bother 96-year-old bluesman Pinetop Perkins.

It's all part of his job. Most nights, after he snuffs out his menthol cigarette, Perkins slides onto the piano bench in some club and eases into a wail about hard times and treacherous women.

Perkins is believed to be the oldest of the old-time Delta blues musicians still performing. In an 80-year career, he's traveled through juke joints, nightclubs and festival stages shared with the likes of John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson and Muddy Waters. [...]

Perkins, whose real first name is Willie, was born in 1913 in Belzoni, Miss. He's lived the evolution of blues music, spending his early years playing in the Delta. In the 1940s, he performed with Williamson on the popular King Biscuit Time radio show broadcast daily on KFFA in Helena, Ark.

Perkins backed slide guitarist Robert Nighthawk on an early Chess Records recording and toured with Turner in the 1950s. Later, Perkins joined Muddy Waters' band to replace pianist Otis Spann in 1969.



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Posted by Orrin Judd at November 27, 2009 7:48 AM
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