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Tommy Ridgley at the Dream Palace in New Orleans (1996)
|Birth name||Thomas Herman Ridgley|
|Born||October 30, 1925|
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
|Died||August 11, 1999 73)(aged|
|Labels||Imperial, Decca, Herald, Atlantic, Ric, Ronn, River City, Black Top|
Tommy Ridgley (October 30, 1925 – August 11, 1999) was an American R&B singer and bandleader in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Rhythm and blues, commonly abbreviated as R&B, is a genre of popular music that originated in African American communities in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat" was becoming more popular. In the commercial rhythm and blues music typical of the 1950s through the 1970s, the bands usually consisted of piano, one or two guitars, bass, drums, one or more saxophones, and sometimes background vocalists. R&B lyrical themes often encapsulate the African-American experience of pain and the quest for freedom and joy, as well as triumphs and failures in terms of relationships, economics, and aspirations.
Born Thomas Herman Ridgley, he released his debut single "Shrewsbury Blues" in New Orleans in 1949for Imperial Records. In the 1950s he formed his group the Untouchables, and recorded for labels such as Decca, Atlantic and Herald. His 1952 release "Tra-La-La" on Decca was later covered and made famous by Pat Boone.
Imperial Records is an American record company and label started in 1947 by Lew Chudd and reactivated in 2006 by EMI, which owned the label and back catalogue at the time. Imperial is owned by Universal Music Group.
Decca Records is a British record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Its U.S. label was established in late 1934 by Lewis, along with American Decca's first president Jack Kapp and later American Decca president Milton Rackmil. In 1937, anticipating Nazi aggression leading to World War II, Lewis sold American Decca and the link between the UK and U.S. Decca labels was broken for several decades. The British label was renowned for its development of recording methods, while the American company developed the concept of cast albums in the musical genre. Both wings are now part of the Universal Music Group, which is owned by Vivendi, a media conglomerate headquartered in Paris, France. The US Decca label was the foundation company that evolved into UMG.
Atlantic Recording Corporation is an American record label founded in October 1947 by Ahmet Ertegün and Herb Abramson. Over its first 20 years of operation, Atlantic earned a reputation as one of the most important American labels, specializing in jazz, R&B, and soul by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Ruth Brown and Otis Redding. Its position was greatly improved by its distribution deal with Stax. In 1967, Atlantic became a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Bros.-Seven Arts, now the Warner Music Group, and expanded into rock and pop music with releases by Led Zeppelin and Yes.
In the 1960s he signed with the local Ric Records, and released some singles which were to become local hits, but none of them broke through to create a stir nationally. These sides included "Double-Eyed Whammy" and "I've Heard That Story Before", a remake of the song first recorded for Herald.
During the 1970s and 1980s, there were fewer recording opportunities for Ridgley, however, he continued to record for local labels, and continued to perform. He kept performing at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival every year from 1972 until his death.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, often known as Jazz Fest, is an annual celebration of the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana. The term "Jazz Fest" also refers to the days surrounding the festival and the many shows at unaffiliated New Orleans nightclubs scheduled during the festival weekends.
In the 1990s, he released three newly recorded albums. How Long? came out on the Sound of New Orleans label in 1990, and She Turns Me On followed two years later on Modern Blues Recordings. He was supported by musicians such as George Porter, Jr. and Raymond Weber on 1995 album Since The Blues Began from Black Top Records. It also featured guest guitarist Snooks Eaglin and turned out to be one of the most solid efforts in his career, but this became his last recorded album. He suffered from kidney failure in his last few years, and died from lung cancer in 1999.
Black Top Records was a New Orleans, Louisiana-based independent record label founded in 1981 by brothers Nauman S. Scott, III and Hammond Scott. The label specialized in blues and R&B music. The first release was "Talk To You By Hand" by Anson Funderburgh & the Rockets. The artist roster included Earl King, Snooks Eaglin, Lee Rocker, Guitar Shorty, and Robert Ward, among others.
Fird Eaglin, Jr., known as Snooks Eaglin, was an American guitarist and singer based in New Orleans. In his early years he was sometimes credited under other names, including Blind Snooks Eaglin, "Lil" Snook, Ford Eaglin, Blind Guitar Ferd.
Lung cancer, also known as lung carcinoma, is a malignant lung tumor characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. This growth can spread beyond the lung by the process of metastasis into nearby tissue or other parts of the body. Most cancers that start in the lung, known as primary lung cancers, are carcinomas. The two main types are small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) and non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). The most common symptoms are coughing, weight loss, shortness of breath, and chest pains.
The New Orleans singer, Sammy Ridgley is his younger brother.
Eleanora Fagan, better known as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz singer with a career spanning nearly thirty years. Nicknamed "Lady Day" by her friend and music partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz music and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. She was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills, which made up for her limited range and lack of formal music education.
The Moody Blues are an English rock band formed in Birmingham in 1964, initially consisting of keyboardist Mike Pinder, multi-instrumentalist Ray Thomas, guitarist Denny Laine, drummer Graeme Edge, and bassist Clint Warwick.
New Orleans rhythm and blues is a style of rhythm and blues music that originated in the U.S. city of New Orleans. Most popular from 1948 to 1955, it was a direct precursor to rock and roll and strongly influenced ska. Instrumentation typically includes drums, bass, piano, horns, electric guitar, and vocals. The style is characterized by syncopated "second line" rhythms, a strong backbeat, and soulful vocals. Artists such as Roy Brown, Dave Bartholomew, and Fats Domino are representative of the New Orleans R&B sound.
Weldon Leo "Jack" Teagarden was a jazz trombonist and singer. According to critic Scott Yannow of Allmusic, Teagarden was the preeminent American jazz trombone player before the bebop era of the 1940s and "one of the best jazz singers too". Teagarden's early career was as a sideman with the likes of Tommy Dorsey, Paul Whiteman and lifelong friend Louis Armstrong before branching out as a bandleader in 1939 and specializing in New Orleans Jazz-style jazz until his death.
William Thomas "Champion Jack" Dupree was an American blues and boogie-woogie pianist and singer. His nickname was derived from his early career as a boxer.
Earl Silas Johnson IV, known as Earl King, was an American singer, guitarist, and songwriter, most active in blues music. A composer of blues standards such as "Come On" and "Big Chief", he was an important figure in New Orleans R&B.
David Louis Bartholomew is an American musician, bandleader, composer, arranger and record producer, prominent in the music of New Orleans throughout the second half of the 20th century. Originally a trumpeter, he has been active in many musical genres, including rhythm and blues, big band, swing music, rock and roll, New Orleans jazz and Dixieland. In his induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he was cited as a key figure in the transition from jump blues and swing to R&B and as "one of the Crescent City’s greatest musicians and a true pioneer in the rock and roll revolution."
Albert George "Al" Hibbler was an American baritone vocalist, who sang with Duke Ellington's orchestra before having several pop hits as a solo artist. Some of Hibbler's singing is classified as rhythm and blues, but he is best seen as a bridge between R&B and traditional pop music. According to one authority, "Hibbler cannot be regarded as a jazz singer but as an exceptionally good interpreter of twentieth-century popular songs who happened to work with some of the best jazz musicians of the time."
Laten John Adams Jr., was an American blues, jazz and gospel singer, known as "The Tan Canary" for the multi-octave range of his singing voice, his swooping vocal mannerisms and falsetto. His biggest hits were his versions of "Release Me" and "Reconsider Me" in the late 1960s.
Irma Thomas is an American singer from New Orleans. She is known as the "Soul Queen of New Orleans".
Malaco Records is an American independent record label based in Jackson, Mississippi that has been the home of various major blues and gospel acts, such as Johnnie Taylor, Bobby Bland, Z. Z. Hill, Denise LaSalle, Benny Latimore, Dorothy Moore, Little Milton, Shirley Brown, Tyrone Davis, Marvin Sease, and the Mississippi Mass Choir. It has received an historic marker issued by the Mississippi Blues Commission to commemorate its important place on the Mississippi Blues Trail.
Anders Osborne is an American singer/songwriter. He tours solo and with a band, and often plays in North Mississippi Osborne (N.M.O), a group formed by Osborne and North Mississippi Allstars.
Walter "Wolfman" Washington is an American singer and guitarist, based in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. While his roots are in blues music, he blends in the essence of funk and R&B to create his own unique sound.
William Alexander "Alex" Chilton was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer, best known as the lead singer of The Box Tops and Big Star. Chilton's early commercial success in the 1960s as a teen vocalist for The Box Tops was never repeated in later years with Big Star and in his subsequent indie music solo career on small labels, but he drew an intense following among indie and alternative music musicians. He is frequently cited as a seminal influence by influential rock artists and bands, some of whose testimonials appeared in the 2012 documentary Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me.
Boogie Bill Webb was an American Louisiana blues and rhythm-and-blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. His music combined Mississippi country blues with New Orleans R&B. His best-known recordings are "Bad Dog" and "Drinkin' and Stinkin'". Despite a lengthy career, Webb released only one album.
Herbert Hardesty was an American musician who played tenor saxophone and trumpet. He is best known for his association with the New Orleans pianist Fats Domino and the producer Dave Bartholomew, beginning in 1948. He released six 45-rpm records as Herb Hardesty between 1959 and 1962. His first CD of these recordings, together with others made but not issued in 1958, were released worldwide in July 2012 by Ace Records as The Domino Effect.
Lawrence E. Birdsong was an American R&B singer who recorded between the 1950s and 1970s. His biggest hit was "Pleadin' For Love", which reached the Billboard R&B chart in 1956.