Google+ Followers

Monday, 11 January 2016

Katie Webster born 11 January 1936


Katie Webster (January 11, 1936 – September 5, 1999), born Kathryn Jewel Thorne, was an American boogie-woogie pianist. Her 35 years of professional piano work has appeared on at least 500 singles, including the original version of "Sea of Love," and countless albums.
A piano-pounding institution on the Southern Louisiana swamp blues scene during the late '50s and early '60s, Katie Webster later grabbed a long-deserved share of national recognition with a series of well-received Alligator albums.
Poor Kathryn Thorne had to deal with deeply religious parents who did everything in their power to stop their daughter from playing R&B. But the rocking sounds of Fats Domino and Little Richard were simply too persuasive. Local guitarist Ashton Savoy took her under his wing, sharing her 1958 debut 45 for the Kry logo ("Baby Baby").
 
Webster rapidly became an invaluable studio sessioneer for Louisiana producers J.D. Miller in Crowley and Eddie Shuler in Lake Charles. She played on sides by Guitar Junior (Lonnie Brooks), Clarence Garlow, Jimmy Wilson, Lazy Lester, and Phil Phillips (her gently rolling 88s powered his hit "Sea of Love").
 


The young pianist also waxed some terrific sides of her own for Miller from 1959 to 1961 for his Rocko, Action, and Spot labels (where she introduced a dance called "The Katie Lee"). Webster led her own band, the Uptighters, at the same time she was spending her days in the studio. In 1964, she guested with Otis Redding's band at the Bamboo Club in Lake Charles and so impressed the charismatic Redding that he absconded with her. For the next three years, Webster served as his opening act.
Webster toured the country with Redding, and can be heard on his Live At The Whiskey A-Go-Go album. Unable to join Redding on tour in 1967 because she was pregnant, Webster was not on the plane that took Redding's life. Devastated by his death, she kept a very low profile until the early 1980s, when she made her debut tour of Europe. European audiences couldn't get enough of Webster, and she returned over 30 times. She recorded albums for the German record label, Ornament Records.
She cut You Know That's Right with the band Hot Links.
During the 1980s, Webster began to win over her American audience at numerous high profile festival gigs, including the Chicago Blues Festival, The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, The Boulder Blues Festival, The Newport Folk Festival, The San Francisco Blues Festival and many others. "She can floor the timid listener," raved the Boston Globe. "Webster can say more about the pain of betrayal with one low, sad growl, and more about the joy of fighting back against cruel life with one teasing roll of her eyes, than most could write in a book."
The Alligator connection commenced in 1988 with some high-profile help: Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, and Kim Wilson all made guest appearances on Websters album The Swamp Boogie Queen. She performed at both the San Francisco Blues Festival and Long Beach Blues Festival. The lovably extroverted boogie pianist encored with Two-Fisted Mama! and No Foolin'.
In 1993, Webster was felled by a stroke while touring in Greece, and lost some of the use of her left hand and almost all of her eyesight. But her magnificent voice and wonderful right hand, not to mention her inimitable spirit, kept her going strong. She continued to appear at selected festivals. Even though her health wouldn't support extended touring, her final performances were filled with the same boogie-woogie drive and spirit that originally earned Katie Webster the title Swamp Boogie Queen.
She died from heart failure in League City, Texas, 5th September 1999 at the age of 63.
(Info edited from AMG & alligator.com & Wikipedia)

Here's Katie at a special jazz event recorded live at the Roman Theater in Verona July 1990

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For Katie Webster – Alligator Records Deluxe Edition – go here:

http://www108.zippyshare.com/v/8uQBWqA8/file.html

1. Two Fisted Mama
2. Whos Making Love
3. Im Bad
4. C.Q. Boogie
5. Its Mighty Hard
6. Love Deluxe
7. Sea Of Love
8. A Little Meat On The Side
9. Try A Little Tenderness
10. Never Let Me Go
11. Im Still Leaving You
12. Whoo-Wee Sweet Daddy
13. On The Run
14. Hallelujah, I Just Love Him So
15. The Love You Save May Be Your Own

Katie Webster plays barrelhouse boogie-woogie, New Orleans R&B, Gulf Coast swamp pop, deep bayou blues and Southern gospel-flavored soul like nobodys business; her 35 years of professional piano work has appeared on at least 500 singles, including the original version of "Sea of Love," and countless albums. Music critics and fans around the world acknowledge her as the premier female blues piano player anywhere. Alligator Records DeluxeEdition collects 15 of her very best tracks from her three albums since 1988, and there isnt a filler track to be found. Webster never once failed to deliver on her sassy and sensuous blend of barrelhouse boogie-woogie. Some of the high points of DeluxeEdition include several duets -- "Love Deluxe" with Vasti Jackson and the classic "Whos Making Love," which finds Kim Wilson (the Fabulous Thunderbirds) and bluesman Robert Cray jamming with the Boogie Queen. Wilson also accompanies Bonnie Raitt and Webster to wail "On the Run." Other standout tracks include her remake of "Sea of Love" and the non-vegetarian "A Little Meat on the Side." "The Love You Save" and "Two Fisted Mama" are sure to go down in the music history books as prime examples of Websters swamp boogie styles. But perhaps the best cuts of the 15 are the blues-rich vocals and sax of "Try a Little Tenderness," a sure winner, and "Never Let Me Go," a torch-bearing ballad. Alligators DeluxeEditions are just that -- the best songs by the best artists in their catalog. And Katie Webster ranks right there at the top of that rich list. ~Michael B. Smith