Wednesday, 5 October 2022

Don Drowty born 5 October 1938

Donald Drowty (born 5 October 1938*) is a singer, songwriter and producer who is better known as Dante of  Dante & The Evergreens. 

Drowty was born Chesterton, Indiana, about 15 miles east of Gary. Growing up with an alcoholic father was a difficult experience and one that would shape his later endeavors. In 1946 the family moved to Santa Monica where the youngster later attended University High and Santa Monica High. It was during these years that Drowty formed the associations that led to his hit record. The Pastels were formed at the College in 1959, they were a trio which showcased the singing talents of Donald “Dante” Drowty, Frank Rosenthal, and Bill Young. 

Befriended by Dean Torrence of Jan & Dean, the group was brought to the attention of Jan & Dean's managers Herb Alpert and Lou Adler, who signed them to a management deal. Torrence and producer Kim Fowley thought they needed an extra voice to improve their harmonies and added singer/guitarist Wally Moon.The group worked with singer Aki Aleong, backing him up on several records. In 1960 Torrence put them together with producers Herb Alpert and Lou Adler, who asked them to do a cover of a novelty song, "Alley Oop". As there was another group named The Pastels at the time, they changed their name to Dante and the Evergreens, and the song was recorded and released in just three days on the independent Madison label. 

Singer/producer Gary Paxton, meanwhile, had also recorded the song with a group including himself, called them The Hollywood Argyles, and released the song at the same time. Both were hits, with Paxton's version going to #1 on the Billboard chart, the Evergreens' version going to #15 on that chart and both of them hitting #1 on the CashBox chart. With the success of "Alley Oop," Dante & the Evergreens continued to record for a few years after that, and spent a good amount of time touring up and down the East Coast, even playing the famed Apollo Theater in New York City. 


                             

Unable to match the song's success, the group became increasingly frustrated. When Rosenthal became ill in 1964, and the quartet was unable to tour for six months, the four vocalists went their separate ways. Rosenthal returned to college on an athletic scholarship, while Young was unsuccessful in his attempts to break into movies or music as a soloist. Moon went on to become a highly respected arranger, writer, and producer in Nashville. 

The Evergreens with Merv Griffin

Drowty continued to record with Dante & His Friends, a group that featured members of the Rivingtons. One tune recorded by the group, "Little Girl (You're My Miss America)," was covered by the Beach Boys on their 1962 Surfin' Safari album. Dante  then did a recording for Phillips under the name Emerald City Bandits. He says he recorded many songs under other names but declined to elaborate. His final release teamed him back up with Alpert, this time on the latter's A&M label, for a remake of the Cadillacs' “Speedo.” 

For the remainder of the '60s and ‘70s, Drowty worked as a writer/producer for Bert Bern's Mellin Music Publishing Company, overseeing recordings by such acts as the Isley Brothers and the McCoys. Drowty released a private issue childrens benefit album  in 1970 cosisting of songs recorded from 1960 to 1970 including some masters and many demos. It was produced by Bert Berns, Herb Alpert, Kaye Klassy and Lou Adler. 

Drowty, who grew up in an impoverished foster family, wanted to be a teacher and in time that came to pass, with jobs in Santa Monica, Arizona, New Mexico and Japan. The teaching evolved into major charity work for abused and disabled children. With the ongoing help of Alpert and Adler, Drowty obtained the services of many recording stars for his American Music Project, which went out to 70,000 schools and 21 million children. Those that participated included the Beach Boys, Rita Coolidge, Amy Grant, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, the Carpenters, Roy Rogers & Dale Evans, Iron Eyes Cody and many more. 

Latest news - Drowty is residing in the small Northern California town of Paradise. According to his facebook page, due to heart problems he had a pacemaker installed in September 2021 and although in poorly health still continuing his charity work.

(Edited from AllMusic bio by Craig Harris, IMDb, Discogs  & Top Shelf Oldies) (*other source gives 1939 as birth year)

Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Noël Chiboust born 4 October, 1909


Noël Chiboust (October 4, 1909, - January 17, 1994) was a French Musician (trumpet, tenor saxophone, and clarinet), arranger, composer and bandleader in the field of swing and popular music. 

Noël Chiboust was born in Thorigny-sur-Marne, France, and was largely self-taught as a musician. He began his career as a violinist with Ray Ventura’s Collegians (1928 – 1931). After serving in the army he played with Freddy Johnson (1933), Michel Warlop (1934-5), Coleman Hawkins (1935), and Guy Paquinet (1934-6). In March 1936 he took part in the concert series la semaine à Paris organized by the Hot Club de France and the magazine Jazz Hot in the (later) Salle Pleyel. 

In 1936 he became a member of André Ekyan's orchestra and then he played in Philippe Brun's swing band. He was also involved in recordings by Django Reinhardt, Stéphane Grappelli. He abandoned the trumpet for the tenor saxophone in 1937, then played with Bill Coleman (1938) also appearing with Eddie Brunner at the Cabaret Bagatelle. He also played with Joe Keye’s Band and Serge Glykson (1939), Raymond Wraskoff  (1940) and Fred Adison’s Band. He switched to clarinet when he was a member of the Marcel Bianchi Orchestra. 


                             

From 1940 he was himself a noted band leader and recorded some 78s under his own name for the French label Swing, making one of his most characteristic recordings “Serenade d’hiver” and “Le Sheik”. In the early 1940s he appeared with this formation on Parisian stages, e.g. with Hubert Rostaing. In 1946/47 he worked with his ensemble, which also included Jack Diéval and Lucien Simoën, at Club Schubert. From 1947 to 1950 he had an engagement at Cabaret le Drap d'Or. In 1952 he performed with his orchestra at the Palais D'Orsay. 

In the post-war period he turned to light music and rock and roll ( "Noel Rock" ); In 1959, Polydor released several EPs and singles , on which he interpreted versions of current hits by Georges Moustaki, The Tornados ( " Telstar " ) and Brenda Lee ( "Dynamite" ). From the 1960s he occasionally recorded a few singles with own ensemble which included nostalgic pieces such as "Charleston" or "Yes Sir, That's My Baby " .He continued playing locally with his own big band even after retiring from active touring.
He died in Pau, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France, on 17th January 1994.

(Edited from Wikipedia & New Grove Dictionary of Jazz)

Monday, 3 October 2022

Larry Banks born 3 October 1931


Lawrence H. Banks (October 3, 1931 – February 26, 1992) was an American R&B and soul singer, songwriter, and record producer.

Banks was born in New York City and grew up in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn. His father, Arthur Banks, was a bass singer of religious and classical music, who also performed as a member of a barbershop quartet called the Dunbar Barbershop Quartet, which had once performed behind opera singer Lauritz Melchior.

In the early 1950s, Banks served as a US Marine in the Korean War, and was awarded a Bronze Star. On his return in 1953, he formed a singing group, The Schemers, with former members of another group, The Four Toppers. This group soon broke up, and in 1954 Banks formed The Four Fellows, whose members were Banks (baritone), David Jones (first tenor), Jimmy McGowan (second tenor), and Teddy Williams (bass). Larry Banks wrote and arranged much of the group's material. They began performing in clubs in New York and on local TV shows, and first recorded for the independent Derby label. They then moved to the Glory label set up by Phil Rose, formerly of Coral Records. In 1955, their second release on Glory, "Soldier Boy", a song written by David Jones, reached # 4 on the national Billboard R&B charts.

 The Four Fellows performed in shows organised by Alan Freed and "Dr. Jive" (Tommy Smalls), and on the black theatre circuit with acts including The Moonglows and Bo Diddley. However, the group's later records were less successful. One of their final releases with the original line-up was as backing singers for Banks' wife Bessie, who at the time performed and recorded as Toni Banks, on her 1957 single, "You're Still in My Heart".

Banks then left The Four Fellows and began working with his wife, although they separated in the early 1960s and later divorced; she recorded in the early 1960s as Bessie Banks. In 1961, Banks, along with brother-in-law Tony May, set up a music publishing company, Kev-Ton. A 1962 demo recording by Bessie of a song written by Banks with friend Milton Bennett, "Go Now", was heard by songwriters and record producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who re-recorded it and released it in early 1964 on their Tiger label, later reissuing it on the Blue Cat label, the R&B/soul imprint of Red Bird. Although the record was not a substantial hit, it was later heard by English beat group The Moody Blues, who recorded the song and had an international hit, launching the band's career.

                              

Banks wrote and recorded under his own name in the early and mid 1960s, his first release being "Will You Wait" on the Select label. He also wrote and produced for other singers and groups, including Kenny Carter, The Cavaliers, The Geminis, The Exciters, and The Pleasures, a group led by Joan Bates, who he later married and who recorded solo as Jaibi. He recorded with his wife as "Lawrence and Jaibi". Many of his recordings and productions were undertaken for GWP Productions, whose records were released through the RCA label.

Banks continued working in the music business into the 1980s, including reunion performances with The Four Fellows. He also partnered with friend and fellow martial artist Herman Kelly in a combination music studio and Karate dojo. After his divorce from Joan Bates (Jaibi), Banks moved back to Brooklyn, where he also maintained a recording studio. Larry Banks died from liver failure on 26 Feb 1992 in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, aged 60, and was buried with honours as a military veteran in Calverton National Cemetery, Long Island. He was posthumously inducted into the United in Group Harmony Association's (UGHA) 8th Annual Hall of Fame as a member of the Four Fellows in 1998.

Banks' recordings and productions, particularly with Bessie Banks and Jaibi, were among the favourites of English music historian and archivist Dave Godin, the inventor of the term "Northern soul" and producer of a number of critically acclaimed "deep soul" compilation albums. In 2007, a compilation of Banks' recordings as performer and producer, Larry Banks' Soul Family Album, was released by Ace Records.

(Edited from Wikipedia & Discogs)

Here's a clip from a 1980 UGHA concert.  Lead singer Jimmy McGowan is joined by Teddy Williams, Larry Banks (both original Fellows), and Rabbi Yeshuron.

Sunday, 2 October 2022

Phil Urso born 2 October 1925


Phil Urso (2 October 1925 - 7 April 2008, Denver, Colorado) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and composer. He towers among the premier tenor saxophonists of the cool jazz era -- his whispery, exquisitely nuanced phrasing graces now-classic records by West Coast giants like Chet Baker, Bob Brookmeyer, and Gerry Mulligan. 

Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, Urso grew up in Denver, and began playing clarinet at age 13 before making the switch to saxophone. During World War II he served with the U.S. Navy, cheating death in 1943 when a Japanese dive-bomber crashed onto the deck of his aircraft carrier near Saipan, vaulting him into the Pacific Ocean. After recuperating from the trauma in a California military hospital, Urso formally launched his music career, relocating to New York City in 1947 and signing on behind bandleader Elliot Lawrence (1948 – 1950). 

A devoted acolyte of Lester Young, Urso developed a potently expressive approach that eschewed flash and no doubt contributed to his relative anonymity outside of the jazz cognoscenti. Urso made his recorded debut in 1948 alongside Lawrence bandmates Howie Mann, Tom O'Neill, and Bob Karch in a progressive bop quartet that later expanded to include fellow Lawrence alum Gerry Mulligan on baritone saxophone. 

In 1951, Urso replaced Stan Getz in the Woody Herman Orchestra and also played with Jimmy Dorsey’s band, followed in early 1952 by a breakthrough session cut in collaboration with Mann, Tony Fruscella, Herb Geller, Gene Allen, Bill Triglia, and Red Mitchell -- the date not only spotlighted Urso's silken playing but also his innovative arrangements, and brought him to the attention of Savoy Records, which released his debut LP, The Philosophy of Urso, the following year. He also recorded with Terry Gibbs (1952) and Oscar Pettiford (1953). 


                             

After a session behind an up-and-coming Charles Mingus (later collected on the Complete Debut Recordings box set), Urso spent late 1953 and early 1954 touring behind Miles Davis before earning second billing on the Savoy release Bob Brookmeyer with Phil Urso. Around that same time he began the collaboration that defines his career, teaming with trumpeter Chet Baker for a series of landmark Pacific Jazz dates that embody the sound and spirit of the West Coast aesthetic. Urso partnered with Baker for more than a decade, and in 1956 took time out to cut an LP for Regent titled Sentimental Journey. 

Despite continued demand for his services, he returned to Denver during the late '60s, and largely confined his live performances to local clubs including El Chapultepec, Josephina's, The Hornet, and The Fourth Story up well into  the late 70’s. Urso was largely forgotten by the time he unexpectedly resurfaced in 1986 via the Spinnster release Taking Sides, a bop-oriented date that teamed him with another lost tenor legend, Allen Eager. Urso then promptly dropped back out of sight until 2002, when he partnered with trumpeter Carl Saunders for Salute Chet Baker, issued by the fledgling Jazzed Media imprint. The session proved to be Urso's swan song -- in his later years he struggled with dental problems that hampered his playing, and after a long illness he died on April 7, 2008, in a Morrison, Colorado, rehabilitation center. He was 83. 

(Edited from AllMusic & The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz)

Saturday, 1 October 2022

Cub Koda born 1 October 1948


Michael "Cub" Koda (born October 1, 1948 – July 1, 2000) was an American rock and roll singer, guitarist, songwriter, disc jockey, music critic, and record compiler.

Koda was born in Detroit, Michigan, and graduated from Manchester High School, in Manchester, Michigan. He became interested in music as a boy, learning drums by the age of 5, and by the time he was in high school he had formed his own group, the Del-Tinos, which played rockabilly, rock and roll, and blues. The band released its first single, "Go Go Go" (a version of a Roy Orbison recording), in the fall of 1963. They released two more singles but broke up in 1966, when Koda wanted to pursue other options.

The Del- Tinos (Cub at left)

Koda spent a year attending Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan. Koda formed and reformed several bands at this time with other musicians in the area, such as the Del-Tinos. His original songs and over the top performances drew crowds everywhere the band played. His habit of playing a guitar with a 'y' cord plugged into two Fender Twin Reverb amps gave him plenty of volume. He also played harp and slide guitar. After a year Koda decided college wasn't his thing and moved to Las Vegas where he worked as a sideman. This was his springboard to forming Brownsville Station. The last incarnation of his backing band regrouped as Walrus and became a local and midwest institution in their own right.

Koda then worked as a solo artist, releasing two singles, "I Got My Mojo Workin'" and "Ramblin' on My Mind", and working with a couple of bands, before forming Brownsville Station in 1969. Formed in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Brownsville Station also included drummer T. J. Cronley, bassist Tony Driggins, guitarist Mike Lutz, and later Bruce Nazarian and Henry Weck. The group was influenced by Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, the Who, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Link Wray.

The band began performing throughout the American Midwest and released several singles before getting noticed. They released their first album in 1970. The 1973 single "Smokin' in the Boys Room" remains their best-known song. It went to number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and eventually sold over two million copies. They continued to perform until disbanding in 1979.

                              

Before the breakup of the band Koda purchased a multitrack recorder and started producing one-man-band tapes of rockabilly, blues, R&B, country, early rock and roll, and jazz, which he released as the album That's What I Like About the South. He became more focused on performing solo. He also began writing for numerous music magazines, notably his column "The Vinyl Junkie" for Goldmine Magazine (later for DISCoveries). He wrote three volumes of the acclaimed Blues Masters series. He also wrote reviews and contributed to books published by Allmusic.

From late 1979 to late 1980, Koda began playing with three members of a Detroit-based band, Mugsy, calling themselves Cub Koda and the Points. Their eponymous debut album was released in early 1980 by the Boston-based Baron Records on hot pink vinyl. Also released was an EP, "Shake Yo Cakes." Because of financial difficulties, the band broke up in late 1980 before releasing a second album.

By 1980, Koda was performing with Hound Dog Taylor's backing band, the Houserockers, with guitarist Brewer Phillips and drummer Ted Harvey. They performed and recorded together for 15 years. The group's first album was It's the Blues, released in 1981. Their second album, The Joint Was Rockin' , was released in 1996. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Koda continued his busy schedule of touring, recording, and writing. He recorded a solo album, Box Lunch, released by J-Bird Records in 1997, and recordings he made with the Del-Tinos were released by Norton Records in 1998. He also re-formed Cub Koda and the Points and released Noise Monkeys (one of his last works) in 2000.

In 1993, the twin release of "Smokin' in the Boy's Room: The Best of Brownsville Station", was released on the Rhino Record Label, and "Welcome to My Job," a retrospective of his non-Brownsville material was released on the Blue Wave Record Label, followed a year later by Abba Dabba Dabba: A Bananza of Hits on Schoolkids Records.

On June 30, 2000, while promoting his new album, he became ill. Although he had been recovering from kidney disease, which required dialysis, Koda died the next day in Chelsea, Michigan at the age of 51. He is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Waterloo, Michigan. His headstone features a Fender amp, with a microphone and harmonica resting on top of it. "I Will Always Love You, If Only in my Dreams" is inscribed on the tablet.

Cub Koda was inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame in 2016.

(Edited from Wikipedia & AllMusic)

Friday, 30 September 2022

Gus Dudgeon born 30 September 1942


Angus Boyd "Gus" Dudgeon (30 September 1942 – 21 July 2002) is rated as one of the greatest British producers of all time; his work is in millions of homes across the world. He oversaw many of Elton John's most acclaimed recordings, including his commercial breakthrough, "Your Song".

Angus Boyd Dudgeon was born in Woking, Surrey, England. After being expelled from Harrow School, he attended A. S. Neill's experimental and democratic Summerhill School. After seeing a job vacancy in the newspaper, his mother steered Dudgeon towards Olympic Studios where he worked as a tea boy before becoming a staff engineer at Decca, despite a lack of any musical training. Here he worked for more than five years, on such hits as the Zombies' She's Not There (1964), and John Mayall's classic Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton (1966). He also helped audition Tom Jones and the Rolling Stones for the label.

His first co-production credit came in 1967 with the debut album named after the progressive blues band Ten Years After. A year later, encouraged by Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, he left Decca to found his own production company. Around this time, he also produced the Bonzo Dog Band albums, The Doughnut in Granny's Greenhouse and Tadpoles. After leaving Decca, where he had been an engineer on David Bowie's debut, Dudgeon produced Bowie's "Space Oddity" (1969). Tony Visconti agreed to produce the album, but not the single which he regarded as a novelty tune, and suggested Dudgeon instead.

He went on to produce the second album by Elton John, then better known as a session musician than an artist in his own right. His label, DJM, had modest hopes for the project; as for John, he saw himself as a songwriter. Dudgeon, meanwhile, felt he had been commissioned to do a "glamorous demo". But the eponymous album featured the perennial Your Song, and broke John as an international star, although Dudgeon's epic production, featuring a full orchestra and choir, left some critics unimpressed. He later claimed to have turned down John's piano playing on the track, to cover up mistakes made by the nervous performer.

                              

Dudgeon went on to produce all John's classic albums of that era: Tumbleweed Connection (1970), Madman Across The Water (1971), Honky Chateau (1972), Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player (1973), Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973) and Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy (1975). On these records, he used his lack of a signature production style to advantage, turning out wildly different- sounding records to fit John's diverse songs. Thus, the 1973 single Daniel is quiet and understated, which was the opposite of the previous year's Rocket Man, a production extravaganza on which Dudgeon simulated the sound of a space launch with a slide guitar.

Dudgeon's role in Elton John's success should not be understated. "Once Elton had done what he had to do, which was play the piano and sing, he left," said Dudgeon. "Whatever you hear on the records that's over and above the essential construction of the song is down to myself and whoever else was working in the studio."

Gus with Millie Jackson, Bernie Taupin and Elton John

In 1972, Dudgeon produced Joan Armatrading's debut, Whatever's for Us, written by Armatrading and her then collaborator Pam Nestor. He also produced two singles for the duo, "Lonely Lady" and "Together in Words And Music". Both tracks were later added to the re-mastered CD of the Whatever's For Us album (2001). He also produced two highly successful albums for Elkie Brooks: Pearls and Pearls II, the former peaking at No. 2 and remaining in the UK Albums Chart for 79 weeks.

Gus with Judith Durham
Dudgeon mixed the sound for the Madison Square Garden show in 1974 at which Elton duetted with John Lennon - it proved to be the former Beatle's last live appearance. John and Dudgeon founded the Rocket record label together and put out successful releases for Neil Sedaka and Kiki Dee. However, Dudgeon was sometimes critical of his and Elton John's work and their partnership was dissolved in 1976.

By mid-decade, after his lengthy association with Elton John, Dudgeon found it difficult to establish himself alone, though he did work with a variety of acts, including Shooting Star, Audience, Chris Rea, Elkie Brooks, Ralph McTell, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Lindisfarne, Judith Durham, Fairport Convention, Sam Gopal Dream, the Sinceros, the Beach Boys, Solution, Voyager, Steeleye Span and Angie Gold. In the 1980s, he built Sol Studios, and also started working with alternative bands, including XTC, Menswear, and the Frank and Walters. In 1989, Dudgeon produced the debut solo album by Thomas Anders (ex-Modern Talking).

On 21 July 2002, Dudgeon and his wife, Sheila, died when their Jaguar veered off the M4 between Reading and Maidenhead. The inquest recorded a verdict of accidental death, noting that he was intoxicated and had possibly fallen asleep at the wheel while driving well in excess of the speed limit. He and his wife both suffered severe head injuries, were trapped in the car which landed in a storm drain. At the time of his death, he was managing a band called Slinki Malinki.    (Edited from The Guardian & Wikipedia)

Thursday, 29 September 2022

Joe "Guitar" Hughes born 29 September 1937


Joe "Guitar" Hughes (September 29, 1937 – May 20, 2003) was an American blues musician from Houston, Texas. An inventive and versatile performer, Hughes was equally happy with slow blues, Texas shuffles and old R&B hits.

Joe Maurice Hughes was born in Houston, Texas. Starting at age fifteen and continuing for most of the next fifty years, Hughes performed professionally in a variety of Houston venues, small and large. There he developed the musical skills and stage presence that earned him critical acclaim, recording opportunities at home and abroad, and featured appearances at national and European blues festivals.

Though a native of Houston’s Fourth Ward, Hughes spent most of his formative years residing and performing in the adjacent Third Ward. There Hughes met many famous blues guitarists—including Sam “Lightnin’” Hopkins, Albert Collins, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, and Texas Johnny Brown—whose playing styles he gradually absorbed (along with that of T-Bone Walker, whom he first heard on recordings) and synthesized into his own hybrid blend.

In 1952 Hughes founded the Dukes of Rhythm with Johnny Copeland and Herbert Henderson; that group later added James Johnson and, through the mid-1950s, regularly played Galveston venues such as the Woodlake Inn, Arlie’s Groovy Grill, and others. From 1958 through 1963 Hughes worked mainly in the Third Ward, anchoring his own band seven nights a week at Shady’s Playhouse.


             

In 1958 at Houston’s Gold Star Studios (which later became SugarHill Recording Studios), Hughes made his debut recordings, released on a 45-rpm single on the Kangaroo Records label owned by local musician and producer Henry Hayes. Hughes was a bandleader at Shady's until 1963, releasing regional singles, including The Shoe Shy and Ants in My Pants. From 1963 through 1972 Hughes recorded for various other producers and released singles on labels such as Gallant, Golden Eagle, Jetstream, Boogaloo, Sound Plus, and S.B.I.

In 1963 Hughes first toured beyond the region as a guitarist with the Upsetters, a group (led by saxophonist Grady Gaines and later known as the Texas Upsetters) that backed various featured artists (such as Fats Domino and the duo Sam and Dave) in a nationally-popular revue. From 1964 through 1966 Hughes played lead guitar in another band that toured the United States with star singer Bobby Bland, followed by a similar stint from 1967 through 1969 when he accompanied singer Al “TNT” Braggs.

Following a period of relative obscurity from the mid-1970s through the early 1980s, Hughes re-emerged beyond Houston in 1985 with a featured appearance onstage at the Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in Utrecht, Holland, for Blues Estafette, an annual event at which he ultimately performed at least six times through the subsequent fifteen years. His success with European audiences reinvigorated his career, leading to additional festival appearances overseas and in the U. S., as well as his most productive phase as a songwriter and recording artist.

In 1986 Hughes recorded tracks for the Double Trouble label (a Dutch label) for Texas Guitar Masters, an album in the LP format featuring Hughes and fellow Houston blues guitarist Pete Mayes. In 1987 Hughes released his debut solo LP, Craftsman, on the same label. That same year he also issued his album Movin’ On in the cassette-tape format for the Rollin label, followed by This One’s for You on the Estox imprint in 1988. The highlights of Hughes’s recording career comprise the five solo albums he released on CD for various labels: If You Want to See the Blues (Black Top Records, 1989), Live at Vredenburg (Double Trouble, 1993), Down & Depressed: Dangerous (Munich Records, 1993), Texas Guitar Slinger (Bullseye Blues, 1996), and Stuff Like That (Blues Express, 2001). He was also featured in two documentary films—Battle of the Guitars (1985) produced by Alan Govenar and Third Ward Blues (1999) by Heather Korb.

Following a brief marriage in 1955 to Ella Louise Joseph, in 1961 Hughes met and married Willie Lee (Mae) Hudgins, his wife for the last forty-two years of his life. Hughes fathered seven daughters and two sons. After suffering a heart attack, Hughes died at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston on May 20, 2003. He was buried in Hudgins Cemetery in the Hudgins Settlement near Bay City, Texas.

(Bio by Roger Wood @ Texas State Historical Association & Discogs)