Cornell Dupree in 1976
December 19, 1942|
Fort Worth, Texas
|Died||May 8, 2011
Fort Worth, Texas
|Labels||Wounded Bird, Antilles, Kokopelli, Dialtone|
Cornell Luther Dupree (December 19, 1942 – May 8, 2011) was an American jazz and R&B guitarist. He worked at various times with Bill Withers, Donny Hathaway, King Curtis and Steve Gadd, appeared on David Letterman, and wrote a book on soul and blues guitar: Rhythm and Blues Guitar ISBN 0-634-00149-3. He reputedly recorded on 2,500 sessions.
Dupree was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, where he graduated from I.M. Terrell High School. Dupree began his career playing in the Atlantic Records studio band, recording on albums by Aretha Franklin (Aretha Live at Fillmore West) and King Curtis as a member of Curtis's band "The King Pins" (having grown up with King Curtis in Fort Worth). He appeared on the 1969 Lena Horne and Gábor Szabó recording, and on recordings with Archie Shepp, Grover Washington, Jr., Snooky Young and Miles Davis.
He was a founding member of the band Stuff, which featured fellow guitarist Eric Gale, Richard Tee on keyboards, Steve Gadd and Chris Parker on drums, and Gordon Edwards on bass. Dupree and Tee recorded together on many occasions. Notable albums include the aforementioned Aretha and King Curtis records, plus Joe Cocker's Stingray and Luxury You Can Afford, plus Cornell's solo albums Teasin', Saturday Night Fever (instrumental), Shadow Dancing, Can't Get Through, Coast to Coast, Uncle Funky, Child's Play, Bop 'n' Blues, and Unstuffed. He played on Brook Benton's "Rainy Night in Georgia" and "Please Send Me Someone to Love", and is featured on two tracks of Peter Wolf's 1998 album, Fool's Parade. He is also known for playing the opening guitar riff on Aretha Franklin's "Respect".
In later years, Dupree used a Fender "red-knob" Twin Reverb and played a Yamaha signature guitar called the Dupree Super Jam (it used to be a model similar to the SJ-550 HM, but now is closer to a three-pickup Pacifica with a maple neck).
In 2009, Dupree appeared in a documentary entitled Still Bill, which chronicled the life and times of Bill Withers. He appeared on stage playing a guitar-led version of Grandma's Hands. Bill Withers, at first, was sitting in the audience, but ended up joining him on stage to sing the lyrics to the song. In this part of the documentary, Dupree played his guitar on a stool, breathing using an oxygen machine, which foretold his suffering from emphysema.
- 1974: Teasin' (Wounded Bird)
- 1977: Saturday Night Fever (instrumental)
- 1979: Shadow Dancing
- 1988: Coast to Coast (Antilles Records)
- 1991: Can't Get Through
- 1992: Uncle Funky (Live)
- 1993: Child's Play
- 1994: Bop 'n' Blues (Kokopelli Records)
- 2011: I'm Alright (Dialtone Records)
With Buddy Rich
- Europa Jazz Buddy Rich Big Band (EJ-1009 Italy, 1981)
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With Charles Earland
- The Dynamite Brothers (Prestige, 1973)
With Eddie Harris
With Gene Harris
- Lena & Gabor (Skye, 1969)
With Yusef Lateef
- Hush 'N' Thunder (Atlantic, 1972)
With Arif Mardin
- Journey (Atlantic, 1974)
With Jack McDuff
With Bernard Purdie
- Stand By Me (Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get) (Mega, 1971)
- Soul Is... Pretty Purdie (Flying Dutchman, 1972)
With Marlena Shaw
With Sonny Stitt
- Mr. Bojangles (Cadet, 1973)
With The Nineteenth Whole
With Donny Hathaway
- Live (Donny Hathaway album) (Atlantic, 1972)
With Big Mama Thornton
- The Complete Vanguard Recordings Big Mama Thornton (Vanguard, 2000)
- Peter Keepnews (May 14, 2011). "Cornell Dupree, Guitarist and Sideman to the Stars, Dies at 68". The New York Times.
- Thedeadrockstarsclub.com - accessed May 2011
- Huey, Steve. "Cornell Dupree: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-04-09.
- Texas Senate (May 25, 2011). "SENATE RESOLUTION NO. 1178 In Memory of Cornell Dupree, Jr.". Retrieved July 25, 2012.
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 245. CN 5585.
- Terence McArdle (May 10, 2011). "Cornell Dupree, rhythm-and-blues guitarist, dies at 68". The Washington Post.