Little Arthur Duncan
|Little Arthur Duncan|
|Birth name||Arthur Duncan|
February 5, 1934|
Indianola, Mississippi, United States
|Died||August 20, 2008
Northlake, Illinois, United States
|Genres||Chicago blues, electric blues|
|Occupation(s)||Harmonicist, singer, songwriter|
|Labels||Blues King, Delmark, Random Chance|
Little Arthur Duncan (February 5, 1934 – August 20, 2008) was an American Chicago blues and electric blues harmonica player, singer, and songwriter. He was a member of the Backscratchers, and over his working lifetime associated with Earl Hooker, Twist Turner, Illinois Slim and Rick Kreher.
Duncan was born in Indianola, Mississippi, United States, and initially learned to play the drums. In 1950, aged 16, he moved to Chicago, Illinois, and made acquaintance with both Little Walter, who helped Duncan to learn the rudiments of harmonica playing, and Jimmy Reed. He found work playing his harmonica by accompanying Earl Hooker, John Brim and Floyd Jones. Billed and henceforth commonly known as 'Little Arthur Duncan', he played primarily in and around Chicago, and built up a local reputation over the years. He appeared with his own band in the Backscratcher's Social Club, which he also owned. Duncan worked in construction during the 1960s and 1970s, so was restricted to playing and singing in the evenings.
In 1989, Duncan recorded the album Bad Reputation, which was released on the Blues King record label. He later appeared on a compilation album, Blues Across America: The Chicago Scene, alongside Detroit Junior. In 1999, Duncan recorded for Delmark, who released Singin' with the Sun that year. On the album he was accompanied by the guitar player Billy Flynn. Live in Chicago followed in 2000.
His final recording was Live at Rosa's Blues Lounge, which was a live album recorded in Chicago in August 2007. One music journalist noted "...spirited, gritty performances of Reed's "Pretty Thing," Wolf's "No Place to Go," and two Dixon favorites ("Young Fashioned Ways" and "Little Red Rooster") leave no doubt that Duncan lives and breathes electric Chicago blues." However, a subsequent lengthy illness and hospitalization meant that Duncan could not build on his success.
|1989||Bad Reputation||Blues King Records|
|1999||Singin' with the Sun||Delmark Records|
|2000||Live in Chicago||Random Chance Records|
|2007||Live at Rosa's Blues Lounge||Delmark Records|
|1998||Blues Across America: The Chicago Scene||Cannonball Records||with Duncan, Detroit Junior, Mark Hummel, and Robert Plunkett|
|2002||Harmonica Blues Orgy||Delmark Records||with Duncan, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Martin Lang, and Easy Baby|
- Reverend Keith A. Gordon (August 25, 2008). "Blues Artist Little Arthur Duncan, R.I.P.". Blues.about.com. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
- Jason Ankeny. "Little Arthur Duncan". Allmusic. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
- Thedeadrockstarsclub.com - accessed December 16, 2011
- Hanson, Karen (2007). Today's Chicago Blues (1st ed.). Chicago: Lake Claremont Press. p. 146. ISBN 978-1-893121-19-5.
- "Singin' with the Sun > Little Arthur Duncan > Credits". Allmusic. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
- "Live at Rosa's Blues Lounge > Little Arthur Duncan > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
- "Little Arthur Duncan > Discography > Main Albums". Allmusic. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
- "Blues Across America: The Chicago Scene > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
- "Harmonica Blues Orgy > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved December 16, 2011.