“Piano Red” Tribute & CD Release Concert feat. The Red Rockers – Thurs., Aug. 12, 2010


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William “Willie” Lee Perryman (October 19, 1911 – July 25, 1985), usually known professionally as Piano Red and later in life as Dr. Feelgood, was an American blues musician, the first to hit the pop music charts. He was a self-taught pianist who played in the barrelhouse blues style (a loud percussive type of blues piano suitable for noisy bars or taverns). His performing and recording careers emerged during the period of transition between completely segregated “race music” and “rhythm and blues“, which was marketed to white audiences. Some music historians credit Perryman’s 1950 recording “Rocking With Red” for the popularization of the term rock and roll in Atlanta. His simple, hard-pounding left hand and his percussive right hand, coupled with his cheerful shout brought him considerable success over three decades.

Piano Red Tribute

Perryman was born on a farm near Hampton, Georgia, where his parents Ada and Henry Perryman sharecropped. He was part of a large family, though sources differ on exactly how many brothers and sisters he had. Perryman was an albino African American, as was his older brother Rufus, who also had a blues piano career as “Speckled Red”.

When Perryman was six years old, his father gave up farming and moved the family to Atlanta to work in a factory. Not much is known about Perryman’s education or early life, but he recalled that his mother bought a piano for her two albino sons. Both brothers had very poor vision, an effect of their albinism, so neither took formal music lessons, but they developed their barrelhouse style through playing by ear. Perryman sometimes recalled imitating Rufus’s style after watching him play, but it is doubtful that his brother was a major influence. Rufus, nineteen years older than Perryman, left Georgia in 1925 and did not return until a 1960 visit. Another influence that Perryman cited in interviews was Fats Waller, whose records his mother brought home. Other influences were likely the local blues pianists playing at “house” or “rent” parties, which were common community fund-raisers of that era.

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When:          Thursday, August 12, 2010 – 7:30pm

Where:         Smith’s Olde Bar

                        1578 Piedmont Avenue

                        Atlanta, GA

Tickets:      $12 Advance –

For more information, visit http://www.smithsoldebar.com/ or The Piano Red Facebook Page

Enter to Win Tickets for this Show

 

Trivia Question:

What blues legend is known as the “king of the blues”?

Entry Deadline:  Wednesday, August 11, 2010

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