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Boogie Woogie Red

Boogie Woogie Red was born Vernon Harrison in Rayville, Louisiana in October of 1924, and his family moved to Detroit when he was very young. Under the influence of local musicians Big Maceo and Dr. Clayton, Red taught himself piano, developing his keyboard style. At age 18, he was drawn to the blues scene in Chicago, where he jammed with Lonnie Johnson, Tampa Red, and Memphis Slim.

In 1946, he returned to Detroit and for the next fourteen years played with John Lee Hooker. When the Motown sound took over and dried up the blues gigs, Red decided to give up performing. But in 1971 he did a well-received European tour and began performing regularly in the Detroit area, with occasional tours overseas.

He recorded two albums for Blind Pig, both of which are now out of print: Live At The Blind Pig, our very first album, and Red Hot in 1977, from which the selections on Blue Ivory are taken.

The photograph shown above captures Red (on left) with Roosevelt Sykes.


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