Leroy Carr

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Leroy Carr
Leroy Carr.jpg
Background information
Born (1905-03-27)March 27, 1905
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Died April 29, 1935(1935-04-29) (aged 30)
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Genres Blues
Instruments Piano

Leroy Carr (March 27, 1905 – April 29, 1935)[1] was an American blues singer, songwriter and pianist who developed a laid-back, crooning technique and whose popularity and style influenced such artists as Nat King Cole and Ray Charles. He first became famous for "How Long, How Long Blues" on Vocalion Records in 1928.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Carr was born in Nashville, Tennessee, but raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. Although his recording career was cut short by an early death, Carr left behind a large body of work.[2] Some of his most famous songs include "Blues Before Sunrise" (1932), "Midnight Hour Blues" (1932), and "Hurry Down Sunshine" (1934). He had a long-time partnership with guitarist Scrapper Blackwell. His light bluesy piano combined with Blackwell's melodic jazz guitar worked to attract a sophisticated black audience. Carr's vocal style moved blues singing toward an urban sophistication, influencing such singers as T-Bone Walker, Charles Brown, Amos Milburn, Jimmy Witherspoon, Ray Charles among others.[3]

Count Basie and Jimmy Rushing used some of Carr's songs and Basie's band shows the influence of Carr's piano style.[4]

His music has been covered by artists such as Robert Johnson, Ray Charles, Big Bill Broonzy, Moon Mullican, Champion Jack Dupree, Lonnie Donegan and Memphis Slim.

Carr was an alcoholic and died of nephritis shortly after his thirtieth birthday.[5]


  1. ^ Allmusic biography
  2. ^ a b Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. pp. 52–53. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 
  3. ^ Shaw, Arnold (1978). Honkers and Shouters. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. pp. 8–9. ISBN 0-02-061740-2. 
  4. ^ Keil, Charles (1991). Urban Blues. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. pp. 65–67, 107. ISBN 0-226-42960-1. 
  5. ^ Larkin, Colin. "Carr, Leroy". Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Oxford University Press. 


External links[edit]