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Leroy Carr

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Biography

The term "urban blues" is usually applied to post-World War II blues band music, but one of the forefathers of the genre in its pre-electric format was pianist Leroy Carr. Teamed with the exemplary guitarist Scrapper Blackwell in Indianapolis, Carr became one of the top blues stars of his day, composing and recording almost 200 sides during his short lifetime, including such classics as "How Long, How Long," "Prison Bound Blues," "When the Sun Goes Down," and "Blues Before Sunrise." His blues were expressive and evocative, recorded only with piano and guitar, yet as author Sam Charters has noted, Carr was "a city man" whose singing was never as rough or intense as that of the country bluesmen, and as reissue producer Francis Smith put it, "He, perhaps more than any other single artist, was responsible for transforming the rural blues patterns of the '20s into the more city-oriented blues of the '30s." Born in Nashville, Leroy Carr moved to Indianapolis as a child. While he was still in his teens, he taught himself how to play piano. Carr quit school in his mid-teens, heading out for a life on the road. For the next few years, he would play piano at various parties and dances in the Midwest and South. During this time, he held a number of odd jobs -- he joined a circus, he was in the Army for a while, and he was briefly a bootlegger. In addition to his string of jobs, he was married for a short time. Carr wandered back toward Indianapolis, where he met guitarist Scrapper Blackwell in 1928. The duo began performing and shortly afterward they were recording for Vocalion, releasing "How Long How Long Blues" before the year was finished. The song was an instant, surprise hit. For the next seven years, Carr and Blackwell would record a number of classic songs for Vocalion, including "Midnight Hour Blues," "Blues Before Sunrise," "Hurry Down Sunshine," "Shady Lane Blues," and many others. Throughout the early '30s, Carr was one of the most popular bluesmen in America. While his professional career was successful, his personal life was spinning out of control, as he sunk deeper and deeper into alcoholism. His addiction eventually cut his life short -- he died in April 1935. Carr left behind a enormous catalog of blues and his influence could be heard throughout successive generation of blues musicians, as evidenced by artists like T-Bone Walker, Otis Spann, and Champion Jack Dupree. ~ Jim O'Neal
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   Christmas in Jail, Ain't That a Pain
  3.   How Long, How Long Blues
  4.   Blues Before Sunrise
  5.   Muddy Water
  6.   Motherless Child
  7.   Southbound Blues
  8.   You Got Me Grieving
  9.   Straight Alky Blues, Pt. 2
  10.   Just a Rag
  11.   How Long Has That Evening Train Been Gone
  12.   Brown Skin Mojo Blues (Take 2)
  13.   My Woman's Gone Wrong
  14.   Tired of Your Low Down Ways
  15.   Ain't It a Shame
  16.   Cruel Woman Blues
  17.   Dallas Woman Blues (Take 2)
  18.   Big Four Blues
  19.   Church House Blues (Take 2)
  20.   Dallas Woman Blues by Black Boy Shine
  21.   Bad Luck All the Time
  22.   Black Gal, What Makes Your Head So Hard?
  23.   Don't Say Goodbye
  24.   Corn Licker Blues
  25.   Black Shine Blues (Take 1)
  26.   Sloppy Drunk Blues
  27.   Cross-Eyed Man Blues (Take 2)
  28.   Hurry Down Sunshine
  29.   Hard Hearted Papa
  30.   Hold Them Puppies by Larry Check
  31.   Bozetta Blues (Take 2)
  32.   Lonely House Blues
  33.   Mean Mistreater Mama No. 2
  34.   Wrong Man Blues
  35.   What More Can I Do?
  36.   West Columbia Woman by Black Boy Shine
  37.   Rocks in My Bed
  38.   Barrelhouse Woman No. 2
  39.   You Left Me Crying
  40.   Hard Times Done Drove Me to Drink
  41.   Lonesome Man Blues (Take 1)
  42.   I Know That I'll Be Blue
  43.   Tight Time Blues
  44.   The Truth About the Thing
  45.   Evil Hearted Woman
  46.   Going Back Home
  47.   My Good Woman Blues (Take 2)
  48.   Cross-Eyed Man Blues (Take 1)
  49.   Blue Night Blues by Larry Check
  50.   Blues She Gave Me by Larry Check
  51.   West Columbia Blues (Take 2)
  52.   Broken Hearted Man
  53.   There Ain't Nobody Got It Like She's Got It
  54.   Prison Bound Blues
  55.   Court Room Blues by Larry Check
  56.   Straight Alky Blues, Pt. 1
  57.   Bobo Stomp
  58.   How About Me?
  59.   Broken Spoke Blues
  60.   Barrel House Woman No. 2 by Scrapper Blackwell
  61.   Papa Wants to Knock a Jug
  62.   Tennessee Blues
  63.   Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child (Take 2)
  64.   Christmas in Jail
  65.   Christmas in Jail, Ain't That Shame
  66.   Siz Co0ld Feet in the Ground
  67.   Don't You Start No Stuff
  68.   Stormy Night Blues by Scrapper Blackwell
  69.   Papa Wants a Cookie by Scrapper Blackwell
  70.   Getting All Wet by Scrapper Blackwell
  71.   You Don't Mean Me No Good by Scrapper Blackwell
  72.   Brown Skin Mojo Blues (Take 1)
  73.   Sugarland Woman Blues (Take 1)
  74.   Suicide Blues (Take 2)
  75.   Evil-Hearted Woman (Take 2)
  76.   Arlena (Take 2)
  77.   Stormy Night Blues (Take 2)
  78.   Barrelhouse Woman
  79.   You Got to Reap What You Sow
  80.   When the Sun Goes Down
  81.   The Stuff Is Here (And It's Mellow)
  82.   The Depression Blues
  83.   That's All Right for You
  84.   Take a Walk Around the Corner
  85.   Suicide Blues
  86.   Sugarland Woman Blues by Black Boy Shine
  87.   Stormy Night Blues
  88.   Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child
  89.   Shady Lane Blues
  90.   Quittin' Papa
  91.   Papa's Got Your Bath Water On
  92.   Papa Wants a Cookie
  93.   Nineteen Thirty One Blues
  94.   My Good Woman Blues by Black Boy Shine
  95.   Moonlight Blues by Larry Check
  96.   Midnight Hour Blues
  97.   Mean Old Train Blues
  98.   Low Down Dog Blues
  99.   Low Down Dirty Blues
  100.   Love Hides All Faults
  101.   Love Crying Blues
  102.   Let's Make up and Be Friends
  103.   Let's Disagree
  104.   I Believe I'll Make a Change
  105.   New How Long, How Long Blues, Pt. 2
  106.   Good Woman Blues
  107.   Gone Mother Blues by Larry Check
  108.   George Street Blues
  109.   Florida Bound Blues
  110.   Eleven Twenty-Nine Blues
  111.   Don't Start No Stuff
  112.   Cross-Eyed Man Blues by Black Boy Shine
  113.   Church House Blues
  114.   Carried Water for the Elephant
  115.   Brown Skin Mojo Blues by Black Boy Shine
  116.   Box Car Blues
  117.   Black Shine Blues by Black Boy Shine
  118.   Big House Blues
  119.   Baby Don't You Love Me No More?
  120.   Alabama Women Blues
  121.   Arlena
  122.   Mean Mistreater Mama (Take 1)
  123.   Six Cold Feet in the Ground
  124.   It's Too Short
  125.   Arlena (Take 1)
  126.   My Good for Nothin' Gal
  127.   Sugarland Woman Blues (Take 2)
  128.   You've Got Me Grieving Mama
  129.   My Own Lonesome Blues
  130.   Suicide Blues (Take 1)
  131.   Papa's Got Your Water On
  132.   Shining Pistol
  133.   Blues Before Sunrise (Take 2)
  134.   I Ain't Got No Money Now
  135.   Mean Mistreater Mama (Take 2)
  136.   Jail Cell Blues
  137.   Mean Mistreater Mama
  138.   My Good Woman Blues (Take 1)
  139.   Dallas Woman Blues (Take 1)
  140.   West Columbia Blues (Take 1)
  141.   How Long How Long Blues No.2 (2)
  142.   Longing for My Sugar
  143.   Lonesome Nights
  144.   Four Day Rider by Scrapper Blackwell
  145.   You Don't Mean Me No Good
  146.   Bread Baker
  147.   Straight Alki Blues (Part 1)
  148.   Baby Come Back to Me by Larry Check
  149.   Naptown Blues by Scrapper Blackwell
  150.   I'm Going Away and Leave My Baby
  151.   Six Cold Feet of Ground
  152.   Mean Mistreated Mama
  153.   Papa's on the Housetop
  154.   Black Shine Blues (Take 2)
  155.   Yo Can't Run My Business No More by Larry Check
  156.   Gambler's Blues
  157.   When The Sun Goes Down - Leroy Carr
  158.   Black Wagon Blues
  159.   Cruel Women Blues
  160.   Hustler's Blues
  161.   Lowdown Dog Blues by Scrapper Blackwell
  162.   Four Day Rider
  163.   It's Too Short (Take 1)
  164.   Straight Alki Blues (Part 2)
  165.   Prison Bound Blues by Scrapper Blackwell
  166.   I Keep the Blues
  167.   Bad Whiskey Blues
  168.   Truthful Blues
  169.   It's Too Short (Take 2)
  170.   Christmas in Jail--Ain't It a Pain?
  171.   Midnight House Blues
  172.   Blues Before Sunrise (Take 1)
  173.   Corn Likker Blues
  174.   The Stuff Is Here and It's Mellow by Scrapper Blackwell
  175.   How Long, How Long Blues, No. 2
  176.   Lonesome Man Blues (Take 2)
  177.   Mean Old Train Blues by Scrapper Blackwell
  178.   Gettin' All Wet
  179.   Bozetta Blues (Take 1)
  180.   Naptown Blues
  181.   Long Road Blues
  182.   I'm Going Away and Leave My Baby by Scrapper Blackwell
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