Tommy Bankhead

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Tommy Bankhead (October 24, 1931 – December 16, 2000) was an American Delta blues guitarist and singer who played with Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson I, Elmore James (his cousin),[1] Joe Willie Wilkins, Robert Nighthawk, and Joe Hill Louis.[2] He sometimes played the bass guitar and harmonica. He released a few albums under his own name.[3] In his later years, he toured as Tommy Bankhead and the Blues Eldoradoes.

Life and career[edit]

Bankhead was born in Lake Cormorant, Mississippi on October 24, 1931.[1] He moved to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1949. He formed his own bands, the Landrockers then the Blues Eldorados, and performed around clubs in the city.[4] Bankhead was a fixture in St. Louis blues for over fifty years, playing with musicians such as Little Milton, Oliver Sain, Ike Turner, Henry Townsend, and Albert King.[2] He also worked as a deputy sheriff and a security guard at times.[2]

Bankhead died in St. Louis of respiratory failure due to emphysema on December 16, 2000.[2]



  • 1983: Tommy Bankhead And The Blues Eldorados (Deep Morgan)
  • 2000: Message To St. Louis (Fedora)
  • 2001: Please Mr. Forman (Blue Sky)
  • 2002: Please Accept My Love (Fedora)[5]


  1. ^ a b Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 2000". Retrieved 2014-05-29.
  2. ^ a b c d Linda Seida (2000-12-16). "Tommy Bankhead | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-05-29.
  3. ^ "Tommy Bankhead profile". 2000-12-16. Retrieved 2014-05-29.
  4. ^ Olson, Bruce R. (2016). That St. Louis Thing, Vol. 2: An American Story of Roots, Rhythm and Race. pp. 393–394. ISBN 978-1-4834-5799-4.
  5. ^ "Tommy Bankhead Albums and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2023-08-04.