Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Champion Jack Dupree


A rather battered Lp on the Decca label I found in a library sale many years ago. That was a good time to buy vinyl when they were changing over to CD. I remember you had to check the diagrams of previous scratches on the inner sleeve and add more if you think some were missing! Never quite understood the logic of this. The diagram for this record must have looked like a drawing by Giacometti.
Champion Jack Dupree was living in Halifax in Yorkshire when he recorded this album with Mickey Baker ( who was living in Paris) in 1967. Produced by Mike Vernon in London. Other musicians include John Baldwin, Ronnie Verrell and Albert Hall.

"William Thomas Dupree, best known as Champion Jack Dupree, was an American blues pianist. His birth date is disputed, given as July 4, July 10, and July 23, in the years 1908, 1909, or 1910. He died January 21, 1992.
Champion Jack Dupree was the embodiment of the New Orleans blues and boogie woogie pianist, a true barrelhouse "professor". His father was from the Belgian Congo and his mother was a Creole of color and part Cherokee. He was orphaned at the age of 2 and sent to the New Orleans Home for Colored Waifs (also the alma mater of Louis Armstrong).
He taught himself piano there and later apprenticed with Tuts Washington and the legendary Drive'em Down, whom he called his "father" and from whom he learned "Junker's Blues". He was also "spy boy" for the Yellow Pochahantas tribe of Mardis Gras Indians and soon began playing in barrelhouses, drinking establishments organized around barrels of booze.
As a young man he began his life of travelling, living in Chicago, where he worked with Georgia Tom and Indianapolis, Indiana, where he hooked up with Scrapper Blackwell and Leroy Carr. While he was always playing piano, he also worked as a cook, and in Detroit he met Joe Louis, who encouraged him to become a boxer. He ultimately fought in 107 bouts and winning Golden Gloves and other championships, and picking up the nickname Champion Jack, which he used the rest of his life."

Discover more about Champion Jack Dupree HERE.


Champion Jack Dupree - One Dirty Woman

Champion Jack Dupree - Tee-Nah-Nah

Champion Jack Dupree - Caldonia

Champion Jack Dupree - Garbage Man


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5 comments:

Jon said...

Gay & Terry Woods I've been wanting to hear for a long time, so thank you. But this Champion jack Dupree was a real find. i always edmur from buying the badly scratched records but this sounded great; and what an extraordinary voice. Beautiful!

michael said...

Glad you could hear this and enjoyed it as much as I do Jon. I sometimes balk at badly scratched records but when they are pennies to buy I usually take a chance and often surprised that the quality outweighs the pops and crackles. The software that is sometimes employed to get rid of these annoyances often makes the recordings sound very flat and lifeless so I prefer to leave them in.

Artyblartfast said...

Excellent selections, thanks.

spice-the-cat said...

Another blast of nostalgia here. I remember when I was still resident back in back in the UK - Champion Jack Dupree used to live just over the hill from me, in Halifax. Quite why he'd decided to settle in Yorkshire is something of a mystery to me, but he was a well known character on the local scene.

michael said...

Yorkshire seems to have a strange magnetic pull for black american musicians ( Ted Hawkins etc.) but nice to know he was appreciated there.