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Pinetop Perkins 1913-2011

March 22, 2011

Just weeks after becoming the oldest GRAMMY winner in the history of the awards, legendary bluesman Pinetop Perkins died Monday at 97 years old. Here is an excerpt from his obituary:

The piano man played with an aggressive style and sang with a distinctive gravelly voice.

B.B. King said in an emailed statement that he was saddened by the loss of his friend.

“He was one of the last great Mississippi Bluesmen,” King said. “He had such a distinctive voice, and he sure could play the piano. He will be missed not only by me, but by lovers of music all over the world”.

Perkins accompanied Sonny Boy Williamson on the popular King Biscuit Time radio show broadcast on KFFA in Helena, Ark., in the 1940s. He toured with Ike Turner in the 1950s and joined Waters’ band in 1969.

“He is the blues, he is the epitome of it,” Southard said. “He lived it, breathed it.”

Even at his age, he was a regular fixture at Austin blues clubs, playing regular gigs up to last month. He had more than 20 performances booked this year, Southard said. After they won the Grammy this year, Smith and Perkins discussed recording another CD.

Perkins was born in Belzoni, Miss., in 1913 and was believed to be the oldest of the old-time Delta blues musicians still performing.

In an 80-year career, he played at juke joints, nightclubs and festivals. He didn’t start recording in his own name until he was in his 70s and released more than 15 solo records since 1992.


You can read the full story here.

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