Personalities | Rosco Gordon | Fifties | Jazz & Blues

(Piano, vocals, 1928–2002)

Rosco Gordon was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He won an amateur contest in 1950 and was soon appearing on WDIA radio with his own show. He began recording with Sam Phillips in 1951; Phillips sold the master of ‘Booted’ to Chess Records and the master of ‘No More Doggin’’ to Modern. Gordon had two hits, on two different labels, at the same time in 1952. He had a further hit with ‘Just A Little Bit’ on Vee Jay in 1959.

Gordon was out of music full-time after the 1960s. He moved to New York and operated a dry-cleaning business, before forming his own record label and issuing 45-rpm singles during the 1980s. He was recorded by Stony Plain in 2000 and toured again for the last two years of his life. The idiosyncratic, loping rhythms of Gordon’s music was influential on the development of ska and reggae music in Jamaica.

Styles & Forms | Fifties | Jazz & Blues
Personalities | Guitar Slim | Fifties | Jazz & Blues

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


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