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, Long John Baldry, Memphis Slim and Barrelhouse Chuck.

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


  • Blues Before Sunrise (Columbia, 1962)
  • Masters of the Blues Vol. 12 (Collector's Classics, 1971)
  • Leroy Carr 1928 - 34 (K.O.B., 1971)
  • Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell: Naptown Blues 1929-1934 (Yazoo, 1973)
  • Singin' The Blues 1937 (Biograph, 1973)
  • Leroy Carr Vol. 2 (Collector's Classics, 197?)
  • Don't Cry When I'm gone (The Piano Blues Vol. 7) (Magpie, 1978)
  • Leroy Carr 1928 (Matchbox, 1983)
  • Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell: Great Piano-Guitar Duets (1929-1935) (Old Tramp, 1987)
  • Leroy Carr 1929-1934 (Document, 1988)
  • Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell 1929-1935 (Best of Blues, 1989)
  • Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell 1930-1958 (RST, 1989)
  • Naptown Blues (Aldabra, 1992)
  • Leroy Carr Vol. 1-6 (Document, 1992)
  • Leroy Carr Vol. 1-2, The Piano Blues Series (Magpie, 1992)
  • Southbound Blues (Drive, 1994)
  • Hurry Down Sunshine (Indigo, 1995)
  • Naptown Blues (Orbis, 1996)
  • Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell: How Long Blues 1928-1935 (Blues Collection, 1997)
  • American Blues Legend (Charly, 1998)
  • Sloppy Drunk (Catfish, 1998)
  • Prison Bound Blues (Snapper, 2001)
  • P-Vine Presents 21 Blues Giants: Leroy Carr (P-Vine, 2001)
  • The Essential Leroy Carr (Document, 2002)
  • Whiskey Is My Habit, Women Is All I Crave (Columbia, 2004)
  • Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell, the early recordings of an innovative Blues Master Volume 1 1928-1934 (JSP, 2008)
  • How Long How Long Blues (Wolf, 2008)
  • When The Sun Goes Down 1934-1941 (JSP, 2011)


  1. ^ Jim O'Neal. "Leroy Carr | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-08-30. 
  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, Illinois, United States: 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). ISBN 978-0195313734. 


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