Champion Jack DUpree, boxer, pianist
Boxer ~ Pianist
birth name: William Thomas Dupree

Champion Jack Dupree

July 23, 1909, New Orleans, LA ~ January 21, 1992, Hannover, Germany
Note: birth date unclear

When you open up a piano, you see freedom. Nobody can play the white keys and don't play the black keys. You got to mix all these keys together to make harmony. And that's what the whole world needs: Harmony. ~ Champion Jack Dupree

A New Orleans-born jazz pianist whose barrelhouse style influenced rock musicians like Eric Clapton and John Mayall. ~ New York Times: Champion Jack Dupree Obituary ~ January 22, 1992 © New York Times

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July 23, 1977 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (1) Shaun Cassidy, Da Doo Ron Ron ~ #2 (4) Andy Gibb, I Jus Want To Be Your Everything ~ #1 (2) Barry Manilow, Looks Like We Made It


Dupree was notoriously vague about his beginnings, claiming in some interviews that his parents died in a fire set by the Ku Klux Klan, at other times saying that the blaze was accidental. Whatever the circumstances of the tragic conflagration, Dupree grew up in New Orleans' Colored Waifs' Home for Boys (Louis Armstrong also spent his formative years there). Learning his trade from barrelhouse 88s ace Willie “Drive 'em Down” Hall, Dupree left the Crescent City in 1930 for Chicago and then Detroit. By 1935, he was boxing professionally in Indianapolis, battling in an estimated 107 bouts. In 1940, Dupree made his recording debut for Chicago A&R man extraordinaire Lester Melrose and OKeh Records.~ Allmusic: Champion Jack Dupree ~ retrieved January 21, 2015 © Allmusic

Dupree's playing was almost all straight blues and boogie-woogie. He was not a sophisticated musician or singer, but he had a wry and clever way with words: “Mama, move your false teeth, papa wanna scratch your gums.” He sometimes sang as if he had a cleft palate and even recorded under the name Harelip Jack Dupree. This was an artistic conceit, as Dupree had excellent, clear articulation, particularly for a blues singer. Dupree would occasionally indulge in a vocalese style of sung word play, similar to Slim Gaillard's “Vout,” as in his “Mr. Dupree Blues” included on The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions album. He sang about life, jail, drinking and drug addiction; although he himself was a light drinker and did not use other drugs. ~ Wikipedia: Champion Jack Dupree ~ retrieved January 21, 2015 © Wikipedia

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