Roy Gaines

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Roy Gaines
Gaines in 1977
Gaines in 1977
Background information
Birth nameRoy James Gaines
Born(1937-08-12)August 12, 1937
Waskom, Texas, U.S.
DiedAugust 11, 2021(2021-08-11) (aged 83)
GenresTexas blues, electric blues[1]
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
Instrument(s)Guitar, vocals

Roy James Gaines (August 12, 1937 – August 11, 2021) was an American Texas blues and electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter.[1][2][3] He wrote and recorded the song "A Hell of a Night", which was first issued on his 1982 album Gainelining. He was the younger brother of the blues musician Grady Gaines.[1]


Gaines was born in Waskom, Texas on August 12, 1937,[4] and relocated with his family to Houston when he was six years old.[5] Originally a piano devotee, Gaines moved to playing the guitar in his adolescence.[1] In his teens he was acquainted with another budding guitarist, Johnny Copeland.[2] By the age of 14 he had performed onstage backing his hero, T-Bone Walker, and played in Houston nightclubs. He later moved to Los Angeles, California.[1] In 1955, Gaines played as a backing musician on recordings by Bobby Bland, Junior Parker and Big Mama Thornton.[2][5] He later backed Roy Milton and then Chuck Willis, and he worked again with Walker.[2]

He released two low-key albums in 1956 and a couple more in the 1960s for small record companies.[2] In 1966, Gaines became part of Ray Charles's backing band.[5] He was also a backing musician in sessions with the Everly Brothers, the Supremes, Bobby Darin, Stevie Wonder, and Gladys Knight.[6]

He worked primarily as a sideman, but he released a solo album, Gainelining, in 1982.[1] He also had a small part in the 1985 film The Color Purple.[6] Another album, New Frontier Lover, was released in 2000. It was followed by Tuxedo Blues, featuring a big band billed as Roy Gaines & His Orchestra, released in 2009. The album includes the song "Miss Celie's Blues (Sister)," which Gaines had performed in The Color Purple. Also included is a cover version of Michael Jackson's "Rock with You." Gaines co-wrote the song "No Use Crying", which was recorded by George Jones and Ray Charles.

Gaines died on August 11, 2021, a day before his 84th birthday.[7]



Year Title Label
1982 Gainelining Red Lightnin'
1996 Lucille Work for Me Black Gold
1998 Bluesman for Life JSP
1999 I Got the T-Bone Walker Blues Groove Note
2000 New Frontier Lover Severn
2000 Guitar Clashers From Gainesville, Tokyo (w/Mitsuyoshi Azuma) P-Vine
2002 Superman Black & Blue
2002 In the House: Live at Lucerne, Vol. 4 CrossCut (Germany)
2004 The First TB Album Delta Groove
2005 Rock-A-Billy Boogie Woogie Blues Man Black Gold
2005 Going Home to See Mama Black Gold
2009 Tuxedo Blues Black Gold


With the Jazz Crusaders

With Les McCann


  1. ^ a b c d e f Ankeny, Jason. "Roy Gaines". Retrieved September 6, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Roy Gaines: Biography". Retrieved September 6, 2011.
  3. ^ Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music. Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. p. 180. ISBN 1-904041-96-5.
  4. ^ Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues: A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger. p. 316. ISBN 978-0313344237.
  5. ^ a b c Govenar, Alan B. (2008). Texas Blues: The Rise of a Contemporary Sound. College Station: Texas A&M University Press. p. 297. ISBN 978-1-58544-605-6.
  6. ^ a b Herzhaft, Gérard; et al. (1997). Encyclopedia of the Blues. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press. p. 90. ISBN 1-55728-452-0.
  7. ^ "Singer/Guitar Great Roy Gaines Has Died". August 16, 2021. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  8. ^ "Roy Gaines: Discography". Retrieved 2014-01-28.

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