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Big Joe Turner
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Vocalist
    (May 18, 1911-November 24, 1985)
    Born in Kansas City, Missouri
    Recorded the singles 'Roll 'Em Pete' (with Pete Johnson, 1938), 'Cherry Red' (1939), 'Piney Brown Blues' (1940), 'My Gal's a Jockey' (1947), 'Battle of the Blues' (with Wynonie Harris, 1947), 'Chains of Love' (1951), 'Honey Hush' (1953), 'Shake, Rattle and Roll' (1954), 'Flip, Flop and Fly' (1955), 'The Chicken and the Hawk' (1955), 'Corrina, Corrina' (1956) and 'Midnight Special' (1957)
    Appeared in the films 'Shake, Rattle and Rock' (1957) and 'Last of the Blue Devils' (1974)
    Nicknamed 'Boss of the Blues'
    Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1987)
    He weighed over 300 pounds.
    He dropped out of school at fourteen to become a singing bartender.
    He recorded for a dozen labels before settling in with Altantic Records in the 50s.
    Many of his songs had trouble getting radio play because of their risque lyrics.
    When he was four, his father died in a train accident.
    He appeared at the legendary 'From Spirituals to Swing' concerts at Carnegie Hall (1938).
    His voice was so powerful, he did not need a microphone on stage.
    He successfully evolved from big bands to jump blues to rock and roll.

Credit: C. Fishel


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