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Booker T. Laury biography



Booker T. Laury (September 2, 1914 – September 23, 1995) was an American boogie-woogie, blues, gospel and jazz pianist and singer. Biography Lawrence Laury was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and grew up with his lifelong friend, Memphis Slim. In 1935, Sykes suggested to Laury and Slim that they relocated to Chicago, with a view of obtaining a recording contract. Slim took up the advice, but Laury decided to remain in Memphis, where he played in gambling houses and clubs for decades. Laury had a large hand-width, which enabled him to span ten keys. His playing dexterity was such that, after losing one finger on his left hand following an accident with a circular saw in the 1950s, he was still able to play well. Based around Memphis' Beale Street, as that area started to degenerate, Laury traveled around Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri. Despite differing fortunes, the friendship with Slim did not diminish over the years, up to Slim's death in 1988. In the 1989 Dennis Quaid film, Great Balls of Fire!, the plot had a young Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart, look into a juke joint to see Laury playing "Big Legged Woman". This attention led to Laury having the opportunity to record later in his life. Laury appeared in the 1991 documentary film, Deep Blues: A Musical Pilgrimage to the Crossroads. Laury finally recorded his debut album in his late seventies. Booker T. Laury died of cancer, in September 1995 in Memphis, at the age of 81. Discography Nothing But the Blues Bullseye Blues Records 1993 Live Wolf Records 1994