Skip to comments.An original Mississippi Delta bluesman, Pinetop Perkins played with Muddy Waters
Posted on 03/21/2011 9:57:33 PM PDT by Racehorse
Pinetop Perkins, 1913- 2011
Legendary piano player Joe Willie "Pinetop" Perkins , who gave Austin a walking, talking monument to the blues when he moved here in 2003, died from cardiac arrest Monday at his home in North Austin. The oldest-ever Grammy winner, Perkins was 97 when he accepted the award for best traditional blues album last month .
When the Rolling Stones played Austin for the first time in October 2006 at Zilker Park, the sight they most wanted to see was Perkins, Muddy Waters' longtime piano player, backstage at their show.
Even in failing health, Perkins went to Antone's nightclub three or four times a week to sell CDs and DVDs and chat with fans. He was often called onstage to jam, including Saturday at South by Southwest, when he played piano for fellow Mississippi native Bobby Rush .
"He was a member of our family, not just the Antone's family, but the Austin family," said Susan Antone, who is planning a memorial at the club.
An original Mississippi Delta bluesman, Perkins grew up with musical folk heroes such as Robert Johnson and Son House and played on Sonny Boy Williamson 's essential "King Biscuit Time" radio program in the 1940s, He received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2005.
That recognition, plus the comfort he felt in his new hometown of Austin, ended a four-year retirement. "As soon as we got back from that trip to L.A.," his full-time caregiver Barry Nowlin told the American-Statesman last year , "he told me, 'I want you to get my manager on the phone.' He was ready to perform again."
(Excerpt) Read more at austin360.com ...
Heck of a blues man.
Blues, Dixieland, Bluegrass are all uniquely American musical forms and it's a shame that they aren't more popularly appreciated.
that’s too bad. joe willie was an interesting guy — every piano he encountered he said was out of tune. here’s a picture i took of him a couple of years ago:
Pinetop Boogie. My favorite.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XngXWmVQ-B0
I’m sorry to hear of his passing. Rest in peace Mr. Perkins.
The guy still smoked at that age... phewee. Wonder how old he would have gotten if he hadn’t.
I'm reminded of a Dennis Leary joke from way back...
They say smoking takes 10-years off your life. Sure. But, they're the worst 10-years.
To think he outlived Jack LaLanne.
I saw Pinetop in Austin a year ago in a little blues club. It was great! My daughter was 20 years old last spring break and we just stumbled onto the legend by accident. What a treat.
I have a photo on my photobucket if someone could help me.
One of the last of the old guard.
lol...he did indeed. All-night blues jams in smoke-filled rooms beats veggie juice and jumping jacks any day.
< img src=http://m71.photobucket.com/albumview/albums/lifepointe/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG_9428.jpg.html?&pbauth=1_uLEBonVPfaLdh1h3YMYz2TJg1BH53uPQsDUb2g0ltUdOBYFDlNs1mTsazGHWP9ly%2FVNRB1YGrDwDZvv2OU2xGOjkj%2F9q59wGoHo1W3RcIeDdfwl8MlWWdq%2FJQVFl8JNVNb6G05t%2F9Uc2bXPFl%2F8e6SHGaiRA4I8NYzRZl9d3O0M%3D">
Can’t get it right from phone. I will try tomorrow when my daughter and laptop come home for spring break. The picture is from last year’s spring break. What irony.
“Joined at the Hip”: A fine ending to this guy’s career. Will miss him. RIP, Mr. Perkins. Ya done good for the blues.
Here’s a classic blues performance.
I'll miss him!
Great tune, but did you know that he’s not the original “Pinetop” and he didn’t write the song? It was originally done by Pinetop Smith, one of the original boogie woogie masters, but Perkins recorded it later and had a hit with it, and since the song was called “Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie”, people started calling him Pinetop!
Pinetop's the one on the far right
Amen, but it is a sign of the times. Rap is also unique to America and that illustrates the success of the left in destroying American traditions in art, poetry and music by replacing the standards with shapeless, meaningless and in the case of Rap, destructive, new ones.
RIP Pinetop. I think that leaves David Honeyboy Edwards as the only true oldtime bluesman left. He played with Robert Johnson and was with him on the night he died (most likely from poisened alcohol).
Got confused on it - heard it on our local jazz station and made a wrong association. But thanks.
Thank you for the help with the photo. I was a night to remember. RIP Pinetop.
“Got confused on it - heard it on our local jazz station and made a wrong association. But thanks.”
Nah, it’s not a wrong association, Perkins was famous for that song too, he just got famous for his cover version... kind of like everyone nowadays thinks “Hard to Handle” was a Black Crowes song. I just think it’s funny that he got stuck with the nickname of a guy who he never met and who died years before :)
There’s some great boogie-woogie piano on Youtube.
“Theres some great boogie-woogie piano on Youtube.”
Yeah, it’s great that you can find stuff there that 10 years ago you couldn’t find anywhere but in archives somewhere. When I first started trying to teach myself BW piano, I think I found maybe 2 performances on VHS and one instructional tape. The rest I had to figure out from old sheet music scans that people would trade on a Yahoo group, or just learning off records. Man, if they had all that on Youtube, it would have saved me some headaches :)
I have some intro sheet music to BW. It was written by Gene Taylor of Blaster’s fame. Go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/boogie-woogie
Nice, I love Gene and the Blasters! One of the most underappreciated rock n roll bands, imo.
Thanks for the link, but I hardly use sheet music anymore. When I was learning, I could sight read well, but at a certain point, I found that I learned more just playing by ear and improvising, so I began using sheets less and less. At this point, I’m pretty rusty at reading music, but I’m sure I’ll find something there I want to play badly enough to plunk it out.
Also, the Eagles and the Stray Cats.
I’m with you on the Stray Cats, but I’m not really an Eagles fan. I can dig some Joe Walsh and Glenn Frey, but for some reason, Henley just turns me off.
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