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Lowell Fulson biography



Lowell Fulson b. 31st March, 1921, Chocktaw Indian Reservation, Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.A. d. 6th March, 1999, Long Beach, California, U.S.A. Lowell Fulson was born in the Chocktaw Indian Reservation, Tulsa, Oklahoma. He joined up with singer Texas Alexander for a few months in 1940, touring the Lone Star state with the veteran bluesman. Fulson was drafted in 1943. The Navy released him from duty in 1945. After a few months back in Oklahoma, Lowell went to Oakland, California, where he made his first 78's for the producer Bob Geddins. Lowell had his own band and recording for Big Town, Gilt Edge, Trilon, and Down Town (where he was sucessful in 1948 with 'Three O'Clock Blues,' later covered by B.B. King). Swing Time records manager Jack Lauderdale employed Lowell in 1948. 'Every Day I Have the Blues' (an adaptation of Memphis Slim's 'Nobody Loves Me'), 'Blue Shadows,' the two-sided seasonal single 'Lonesome Christmas,' and a mid-tempo instrumental 'Low Society Blues' showcased the importance of the pianist Lloyd Glenn and alto saxist Earl Brown to Fulson's sound (all made the charts in 1950). Lowell toured with his band for a time with pianist Ray Charles (who later covered Lowell's 'Sinner's Prayer' for Atlantic) and saxophonist Stanley Turrentine. After a one-off session in New Orleans in 1953 for Aladdin, Fulson signed a longterm liaison with Chess in 1954. His first single for the label was 'Reconsider Baby,' recorded in Dallas under Stan Lewis's supervision with a sax section that included David 'Fathead' Newman on tenor and Leroy Cooper on baritone. Elvis Presley recorded the song in 1960, right after he left the Army. 'Loving You,' for the Checker imprint was also successful. Most of his Checker sessions were held in Chicago and L.A. (the latter his home from the turn of the '50's). Lowell stayed with Checker into 1962 when he relocated to Kent Records. 1965's driving 'Black Nights' became his first hit in a decade, and 'Tramp,' written by Fulson and Jimmy McCracklin, was more successful. The latter tune was covered by Otis Redding and Carla Thomas. A couple of follow-up hits for Kent followed before Lowell became reunited with Stan Lewis at Jewel Records. 1992's 'Hold On' and its 1995 follow-up 'Them Update Blues', both for Ron Levy's Bullseye Blues logo, were among his most recent recordings. Lowell Fulson died on the 6th March 1999. in Long Beach, California. following complications from kidney disease, diabetes and congestive heart failure.