Soko Richardson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Soko Richardson
Richardson on the back cover of the John Mayall album, The Latest Edition (photography and design by John Mayall, 1974)
Background information
Birth name Eulis Richardson [1]
Born (1939-12-08)8 December 1939
New Iberia, Louisiana, United States
Died 29 January 2004(2004-01-29) (aged 64)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Blues, R&B, blues-rock, rock, soul
Occupation(s) Drummer, percussionist, arranger
Instruments Drums
Years active 1955–2004
Associated acts John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, The Ike & Tina Turner Revue

Eulis Soko Richardson (December 8, 1939 – January 29, 2004)[1] was an American rhythm and blues drummer. His career spanned almost fifty years, during which he performed and recorded with seminal groups including John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. He is perhaps best known for his innovative arrangement of Ike and Tina Turner's version of the Creedence Clearwater Revival song "Proud Mary".[2][3]


Richardson was born and raised in New Iberia, Louisiana.[1][4] He began his musical career at the age of 16, when he left home to tour the South with local bands. Shortly thereafter Ike Turner, upon hearing Richardson play in Texas, hired him to play with his band, the Kings of Rhythm, and then later with the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Richardson worked with Turner for the next ten years. In March 1971 Richardson's arrangement of the Creedence Clearwater Revival song "Proud Mary" reached number four on the pop chart and number five on the R&B chart. It became a signature song for Tina Turner and won the band a Grammy in the category Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Group.[2][5]

In 1971, Richardson joined John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, with whom he would tour and record for the next decade, playing with many of the diverse artists to whom Mayall gave a start.[6][7][8]

In the mid-1980s, Richardson joined Albert Collins and the Icebreakers and became an influential figure in the Chicago blues scene. He helped earn the Icebreakers the W. C. Handy Award as Blues Band of the Year in 1985.[2][3]

Over the years Richardson recorded with many other artists, including Pee Wee Crayton, Bobby Womack and the English guitarist Terry Reid, with whom he was recording an album at the time of his death. Though limited by health problems in later years, he continued to perform and record and to sit in on jam sessions with friends. He played his last gig a few weeks before his death, at a club with Reid.[2][3]

Richardson died in the early hours of January 29, 2004, in his home in Los Angeles, from complications of diabetes. He was 64.[2][9]

Partial discography[edit]

With Ike & Tina Turner[edit]

  • 1966, River Deep – Mountain High, Ike & Tina Turner
  • 1969, A Black Man's Soul, Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm (Pompeii Records)
  • 1971, What You Hear is What You Get, Ike & Tina Turner (EMI), live recording
  • 1991, Proud Mary: The Best of Ike & Tina Turner (Capitol)

With John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers[edit]

  • 1974, The Latest Edition (Polydor)
  • 1975, New Year, New Band, New Company (ABC/One Way)
  • 1975, Notice to Appear (ABC/One Way)
  • 1976, Banquet in Blues (ABC/One Way)
  • 1977, A Hard Core Package (ABC/One Way)
  • 1978, Last of the British Blues (ABC/OneWay), live recording
  • 1982, Road Show Blues (DJM)

With Albert Collins[edit]

  • 1988, In Concert (MVD), live DVD
  • 1991, Iceman (Virgin)

Various others[edit]

  • 1992, Guitars That Rule the World, various artists (Metal Blade)
  • 1994, Chess Rhythm & Roll, various artists (Chess)
  • 2003, Anthology, Bobby Womack (The Right Stuff)


  1. ^ a b c "Eulis 'Soko' Richardson Obituary". The Daily Iberian. 2004-02-06. Retrieved 2017-10-17. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Soko Richardson Archived 2007-10-06 at the Wayback Machine.. Press release. Jan. 30, 2004.
  3. ^ a b c Noted Soul Drummer Soko Richardson Dies. February 2004.
  4. ^ Eagle, Bob L.; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues: A Regional Experience. ABC-CLIO. p. 9. ISBN 0313344248. 
  5. ^ The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (rev. ed., 2001). New York: Fireside/Simon & Schuster. pp. 1010 ISBN 0-7432-0120-5.
  6. ^ John Mayall's Bluesbreakers Archived 2007-02-03 at the Wayback Machine. accessed March 7, 2007
  7. ^ John Mayall Albums Accessed March 7, 2007.
  8. ^ The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll. p. 621.
  9. ^ John Mayall Newsletter Archived 2012-02-22 at WebCite. Accessed March 7, 2007.

External links[edit]