Tommy Ridgley

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Tommy Ridgley

Tommy Ridgley 1996.jpg

Tommy Ridgley at the Dream Palace in New Orleans (1996)
Background information
Birth name Thomas Herman Ridgley
Born(1925-10-30)October 30, 1925
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died August 11, 1999(1999-08-11) (aged 73)
Genres Blues, R&B
Occupation(s) Musician, singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1949–1999
Labels Imperial, Decca, Herald, Atlantic, Ric, Ronn, River City, Black Top
Website http://www.tommyridgley.com/

Tommy Ridgley (October 30, 1925 August 11, 1999) was an American R&B singer and bandleader in New Orleans, Louisiana.

United States federal republic in North America

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.

Contents

Biography

Born Thomas Herman Ridgley, he released his debut single "Shrewsbury Blues" in New Orleans in 1949 [note 1] for 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 American record company and label

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 US/British record label

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 Records American record label

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.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

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. [1]

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.

Snooks Eaglin American musician

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 cancer in the lung

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.

Discography

Compilations

Notes

  1. The success of Shrewsbury Blues led to Ridgley being billed as the 'Shrewsbury Kid' for a number of years
  1. Polatnick, Gordon. "Tommy Ridgley Page in Fuller Up, The Dead Musician Directory". Elvispelvis.com. Retrieved 7 December 2017.

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