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Leroy Carr And Scrapper Blackwell

The term "urban blues" is usually applied to post-World War II blues band music, but one of the forefathers of the genre in its pre-electric format was pianist Leroy Carr. Teamed with the exemplary guitarist Scrapper Blackwell in Indianapolis, Carr became one of the top blues stars of his day, composing and recording almost 200 sides during his short lifetime, including such classics as "How Long, How Long," "Prison Bound Blues," "When the Sun Goes Down," and "Blues Before Sunrise." His blues were expressive and evocative, recorded only with piano and guitar, yet as author Sam Charters has noted, Carr was "a city man" whose singing was never as rough or intense as that of the country bluesmen, and as reissue producer Francis Smith put it, "He, perhaps more than any other single artist, was responsible for transforming the rural blues patterns of the '20s into the more city-oriented blues of the '30s."

Born in Nashville, Leroy Carr moved to Indianapolis as a child. While he was still in his teens, he taught himself how to play piano. Carr quit school in his mid-teens, heading out for a life on the road. For the next few years, he would play piano at various parties and dances in the Midwest and South. During this time, he held a number of odd jobs -- he joined a circus, he was in the Army for a while, and he was briefly a bootlegger. In addition to his string of jobs, he was married for a short time.

Carr wandered back toward Indianapolis, where he met guitarist Scrapper Blackwell in 1928. The duo began performing and shortly afterward they were recording for Vocalion, releasing "How Long How Long Blues" before the year was finished. The song was an instant, surprise hit. For the next seven years, Carr and Blackwell would record a number of classic songs for Vocalion, including "Midnight Hour Blues," "Blues Before Sunrise," "Hurry Down Sunshine," "Shady Lane Blues," and many others.

Throughout the early '30s, Carr was one of the most popular bluesmen in America. While his professional career was successful, his personal life was spinning out of control, as he sunk deeper and deeper into alcoholism. His addiction eventually cut his life short -- he died in April 1935. Carr left behind a enormous catalog of blues and his influence could be heard throughout successive generation of blues musicians, as evidenced by artists like T-Bone Walker, Otis Spann, and Champion Jack Dupree. ~ Jim O'Neal, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Vol. 1, 1928-1934: How Long Blues

Disc 1

1. My Own Lonesome Blues

2. How Long, How Long Blues

3. Broken Spoke Blues

5. Truthful Blues

6. Mean Old Train Blues

7. You Got To Reap What You Sow

8. Low Down Dirty Blues

9. Box Car Blues

12. Baby Don't You Leave Me No More

13. Tired Of Your Low Down Ways

14. I'm Going Away And Leave My Baby

15. Prison Bound Blues

16. You Don't Mean Me No Good

17. How About Me

19. Think Of Me Thinking Of You

20. The Truth About The Thing

21. Straight Alky Blues Part 2

22. Straight Alky Blues Part 3

23. Lifeboat Blues

24. Gambler's Blues

Disc 2

1. That's All Right For You

2. Wrong Man Blues

3. Naptown Blues

4. The New How Long Blues

5. Love Rides All

6. I Know That I'll Be Blue

7. Gettin' All Wet

8. Rainy Day Blues

9. Blue With The Blues

10. Just Worryin' Blues

11. Baby You Done Put That Thing On Me

12. I Won't Miss You When You're Gone

13. Don't You Get Tired

14. I'm Going Back To Tennessee

15. Christmas In Jail

16. Prison Cell Blues

17. That's Tellin' 'em

18. Papa Wants A Cookie

19. Memphis Town

20. Don't Say Goodbye

21. I Ain't Got No Gal

22. Goodbye Blues

23. The Dirty Dozen

24. Workhouse Blues

Disc 3

1. Let's Make Up And Be Friends Again

2. Let's Disagree

3. Sloppy Drunk Blues

4. Hard Times Done Drove Me To Drink

5. Long Road Blues

6. Jail Cell Blues

7. Four Day Rider

8. Alabama Women Blues

9. Papa's On The House Top

10. Carried Water For The Elephant

11. Low Down Dog Blues

12. Nineteen Thirty One Blues

13. Love Crying Blues

14. Papa's Got Your Water On

15. Big House Blues

16. Love Crying Blues

17. Papa's Got Your Water On

18. Big House Blues

19. How Long, How Long Blues Part 2

20. What More Can I Do

21. Papa Wants To Knock A Jug

22. I Keep The Blues

Disc 4

1. Gone Mother Blues

2. Midnight Hour Blues

3. Moonlight Blues

4. The Depression Blues

5. Mean Mistreater Mama

6. Mean Mistreater Mama

7. Mean Mistreater Mama No 2

8. Court Room Blues

9. Hurry Down Blues

10. Corn Licker Blues

11. Hold Them Puppies

12. Shady Lane Blues

13. Blues She Gave Me

14. You Can't Run My Business No More

15. Blues Before Sunrise

16. Blues Before Sunrise

17. Ain't Got No Money Now

18. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child

19. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child

20. Stormy Night Blues

22. Baby Come Back To Me

23. Blue Night Blues

24. My Woman's Gone Wrong

Comments

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This is what I've been looking for!
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Classic, soulful blues. All-time greats.
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These boys dug a hole into which many have fallen.

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