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Champion Jack Dupree Rum Cola Blues (CD)

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(2000/Arpeggio) Migration has played a key role in the blues; as America's black population... more

Champion Jack Dupree: Rum Cola Blues (CD)

(2000/Arpeggio)

Migration has played a key role in the blues; as America's black population moved to urban centres seeking employment, many blues legends came with them. But New Orleans born William Dupree ventured further than most, num-bering Indiana, Chicago and Detroit among his ports of call before emigrating to Europe in 1959. He wouldn't return home until 1990, two years before his death, but by that time he'd been acclaimed as one of the last surviving barrelhouse style piano players in the Crescent City style.

Dupree was born in 1909 and followed in the footsteps of the legendary Louis Armstrong with an upbringing in the New Orleans Colored Waifs Home for Boys after his parents died in a racially motivated arson attack. Music became a way for the enterprising orphan to hustle a dollar or two, and he picked up his pounding piano style from local greats Willie Hall and Don Bowers. But though he moved to Chicago at the start of the 1930's, he failed to break out of the club scene there and, after a short spell as a café pianist in Detroit, dedi-cated the rest of the decade to a career in the boxing ring. Hands that had previously caressed the ivories proved remarkably adept at decking oppo-nents, and 'Champion Jack' Dupree, as he was professionally tagged reached the dizzy heights of lightweight champion of Indiana in a career whose fights totalled three figures. His music, though now a part time profession, had meanwhile matured under the early influence of Leroy Carr, whose laid back singing style he favoured, and his talents were recognised by noted producer Lester Melrose who cut him in Chicago; an album "Dunker Blues 1940-41" preserved the results of some of these early sessions.

The stage was set for a musical renaissance. But the outbreak of war saw him conscripted into the US Navy and a spell as a Japanese prisoner of war added yet another (albeit unwanted) geographical diversion to his travels. Dupree's musical career restarted in earnest in New York, where the fast growing rhythm and blues scene ensured that labels like King and Savoy were more than happy to cut him. The breakthrough came in 1955 when "Walking The Blues", a duet with Teddy 'Mr Bear' McRae revisited here, reached number 6 in the R&B charts. After many diversions, Champion Jack was back on track.... The same year saw him play a New York session in June with former child star Little Willie John, whose life would end tragically in 1968 when he died in prison of pneumonia after taking a manslaughter rap. Our compilation contains two of only three tracks Jack and Willie would cut together: one of the songs, Titus Turner's "All Around The World", would prove to be a top 10 pop hit for Willie that year and features backing here from Willis Jackson (tenor sax), Mickey Baker (guitar), Ivan Rolle (bass) and Calvin Shields (drums). The Groove and Vik monikers were further labels to add to Champion Jack's blues baggage before, tiring of the racism he encountered in American society, he determined to take his talents to Europe. Audiences there were delighted to have a legend in their midst, and musicians from the ranks of Free, Chicken Shack and the Rolling Stones flocked to play with him and enjoy authenticity by association.

Mickey Baker — present on the Dupree/Willie John sessions back in 1955, a hitmaker the following year with "Love Is Strange" and now resident of Paris — would also often be found accompanying Jack as he
toured Europe extensively, making his home in Switzerland, England, Sweden and finally Germany. All Around The World" indeed.... Dupree's triumphant return home to play the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 1990 led to a live album and a repeated booking. But further acclaim was cut short by his death in January 1992 in Hanover, Germany. Fats Domino was just one New Orleans piano man to have benefited from Dupree's trailblazing example — indeed, one of his earliest recordings was a version of "Junkers Blues".

Article properties: Champion Jack Dupree: Rum Cola Blues (CD)

  • Interpret: Champion Jack Dupree

  • Album titlle: Rum Cola Blues (CD)

  • Genre Blues

  • Year of publication 2000
  • Label ARPEGGIO

  • Artikelart CD

  • EAN: 0658028860320

  • weight in Kg 0.1
Dupree, Champion Jack - Rum Cola Blues (CD) CD 1
01 Rum Cola Blues
02 She Makes Good Jelly
03 Johnson Street Boogie Woogie
04 I'm Going Down With You
05 FDR Blues
06 God Bless Our New President
07 Country Jail Special
08 Fisherrman's Blues
09 Lover's Lane
10 Black Wolf
11 Walkin' By Myself
12 Outside Man
13 Forget It Mama
14 You've Been Drunk
15 Santa Claus Blues
16 Gin Mill Sal
17 Love Strikes Blues
18 Wet Deck Mama
19 Big Legged Mama
25 24 23 22 21 20 I'm A Doctor For Women
Champion Jack Dupree Champion Jack Dupree Shim Sham Shimmy (Robinson-Robinson) Red... more
"Champion Jack Dupree"

Champion Jack Dupree

Champion Jack Dupree

Shim Sham Shimmy

(Robinson-Robinson)

Red Robin 130

 

Ever since he first surfaced on OKeh in 1940 (his '41 platter Junker Blues was the direct precedent for Fats Domino's The Fat Man nearly a decade later), New Orleans native Champion Jack Dupree had been attacking the ivories with a ferocity that anticipated rock 'n' roll.

On 1953's Shim Sham Shimmy, cut for Bobby and Danny Robinson's New York-based Red Robin imprint, his thundering boogie was abetted by Brownie McGhee's crashing, distorted lead guitar (Brownie's brother Stick was also on board, along with bassist Bob Harris and drummer Willie Jones). Dupree was introducing a new dance that had been around forever, yelling lyrics with barrelhouse-tested glee.

Born William Thomas Dupree on July 4, 1910 (or one of several other dates he cited over the years), he spent a lot of his childhood in the New Orleans Home for Colored Waifs (an establishment Louis Armstrong also knew well). He learned to play piano in part from watching local 88s aces Drive 'Em Down and Tuts Washington. Dupree headed north in the early '30s, earning his 'Champion Jack' moniker as a prizefighter. He commenced recording in Chicago for the ubiquitous Lester Melrose on OKeh, then served as a cook in the Navy during World War II (he was a Japanese POW for two years). 

Back stateside after the war, Dupree settled into the postwar New York scene and was much in demand as a recording entity, judging from the volume of his postwar discography (labels included Joe Davis, Continental, Lenox, Alert, Apollo, Abbey, Apex, Gotham, Derby, King, and Harlem). Thanks to McGhee's blazing electric axe, Jack's three Red Robin singles hit as hard as anything he did during this nomadic period. Dupree settled into a stable relationship with King Records later in '53, then RCA's Groove and Vik subsidiaries in 1956-57. The piano man made a seminal LP for Atlantic in '58, 'Blues From The Gutter,' then bid the U.S. adieu for the welcoming shores of Europe, where he thrived for the next three decades.

Dupree finally returned to New Orleans to perform at the 1990 'Jazz & Heritage Festival' and make a CD for Bullseye Blues. He was diagnosed with cancer the next year and died in his adopted hometown of Hannover, Germany on January 21, 1992.

- Bill Dahl -

Chicago, Illinois

PLUG IT IN! TURN IT UP!

Electric Blues 1939-2005. - The Definitive Collection!

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Tracklist
Dupree, Champion Jack - Rum Cola Blues (CD) CD 1
01 Rum Cola Blues
02 She Makes Good Jelly
03 Johnson Street Boogie Woogie
04 I'm Going Down With You
05 FDR Blues
06 God Bless Our New President
07 Country Jail Special
08 Fisherrman's Blues
09 Lover's Lane
10 Black Wolf
11 Walkin' By Myself
12 Outside Man
13 Forget It Mama
14 You've Been Drunk
15 Santa Claus Blues
16 Gin Mill Sal
17 Love Strikes Blues
18 Wet Deck Mama
19 Big Legged Mama
25 24 23 22 21 20 I'm A Doctor For Women