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Blues pianist Pinetop Perkins dies at 97

 

Joe Willie "Pinetop" Perkins, a blues pianist known for his aggressive style of playing and his gravelly voice, died Monday at his home in Austin, Texas, according to an announcement on his website. He was 97.

Perkins, seen in a YouTube clip above, woke up with chest pains and died of cardiac arrest, according to his manager, Hugh Southard.

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 Muddy Waters' band in 1969.

Perkins won a Grammy in February for best traditional blues album for "Joined at the Hip: Pinetop Perkins & Willie "Big Eyes" Smith." That win made Perkins the oldest Grammy winner.

More later at latimes.com/obits.

-- Associated Press

 

 

 
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Pinetop's piano playing was always an inspiration to me and he will be in my heart forever. A great soul and a great artist have passed from this world, but the music he shared is immortal. Bye bye Pinetop. I love you, man. John Blanton, Los Angeles, California.

I grew up listening to Blues After Hours on WBUR, Boston, hosted by Pinetop Perkins. Just a few years ago, I saw Pinetop Perkins at the Grass Valley Center for the Arts in GV, California. Still amazing at 94. RIP.

Joe Willie "Pinetop" Perkins was not only one oof the MAJOR influences on
seminal rock and rollers to numerous to list here,until a few weeks ago when he became ill,he still gigged twice weekly in his Austin,Tex.,residence despite
having been born just one month after my father,who was born June 8,1913.
(He died at 76,Feb.26,1990).RIP,Pinetop!!!

He was my BF! We saw him after the Long Beach Blues Festival setting in for a set with Steve Copeland and Raging Sun. He needed a seat, and we were more than ready to offer it to him at our table. He told me that he was going to take me away from my hubby, and I was now his girlfriend. After numerous cups of coffee, a lot of conversation, and some awesome piano music, he was tired, and had to go to his room. I will never forget that wonderful night, nor that wonderful man. Rest in Peace, Pinetop. I, for one, will truly miss you, my friend.


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