Personalities | Roosevelt Sykes | Thirties | Jazz & Blues

(Piano, vocals, 1906–83)

Born in Elmar, Arkansas and raised in St. Louis, Sykes taught himself piano. He made his recording debut for OKeh in 1928 but also recorded for Paramount (as Dobby Bragg) and Victor (as Willie Kelly) from 1929–33. He settled in Chicago in 1931 and created the blues standards ‘44 Blues’, ‘Driving Wheel Blues’ and ‘Night Time Is The Right Time’. Sykes’ powerful, lusty style adapted well to modern trends and he remained a prolific recording artist well into his 70s.

Styles & Forms | Thirties | Jazz & Blues
Personalities | Tampa Red | Thirties | Jazz & Blues

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel


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