Luther Allison biography



Luther Allison (August 17, 1939 – August 12, 1997 He taught himself guitar and began listening to blues extensively. Three years later he began hanging outside blues nightclubs with the hopes of being invited to perform. He played with Howlin' Wolf's band and backed James Cotton. Career His big break came in 1957 when Muddy Waters invited Allison to the stage. He worked the club circuit throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s and recorded his first single in 1965. Allison was signed to the Delmark Records label in 1967 and released his debut album Love Me Mama the following year. A well-received set at the 1969 Ann Arbor Blues Festival resulted in his being asked to perform there each of the next three years. He would not return to the United States for another fifteen years. Allison was known for his concert performances, lengthy guitar solos and crowd walking with his Gibson Les Paul. Allison's manager, and European agent, Thomas Ruf founded the label Ruf Records in 1994. Signing with Ruf Records, Allison launched a comeback in association with Alligator Records. Alligator founder, Bruce Iglauer, convinced Allison to return to the United States. The album Soul Fixin' Man was recorded and released in 1994, and Allison toured the U.S. and Canada. Allison won four W.C. Handy Awards in 1994. With the James Solberg Band backing him, non-stop touring and the release of Blue Streak (featuring song "Cherry Red Wine"), Allison continued to earn more Handys and gain wider recognition. Allison scored a host of Living Blues Awards and was featured on the cover pages of major blues publications. He appeared at the 1995 San Francisco Blues Festival. Allison covered "You Can't Always Get What You Want" for the 1997 Rolling Stones' tribute album, Paint it Blue: Songs of the Rolling Stones. In the middle of his summer of 1997 tour, Allison checked into a hospital for dizziness and loss of coordination. It was discovered that he had a tumor on his lung that had metastasized to his brain. His album Reckless had just been released. His son Bernard Allison, at one time a member of his band, is now a solo recording artist. He was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2000, the Chicago Sun-Times called him "The Bruce Springsteen of the blues". Allison is buried at Washington Memory Gardens Cemetery in Homewood, Illinois. Discography Studio and live albums 1969 Love Me Mama Delmark 625 1972 Bad News Is Coming Motown/Gordy 964 1974 Luther's Blues Motown/Gordy 967 1976 Night Life Motown/Gordy 974 1977 Love Me Papa Black & Blue 33.524 reissued as Estudio Eldorado 524 (Brazil) and Evidence CD 26015 (U.S.) 1979 Gonna Be a Live One in Here Tonight! Rumble 1001 recorded live in Peoria, Illinois on April 18–19, 1979. reissued as Red Lightnin' 0036, South Side Safari 1979 Power Wire Blues Rumble 1004 part 2 of the Peoria concert. reissued 1985 as Charly 1105 1979 Live in Paris Paris Album/Buda 2-28501 recorded in Paris, La Chapelle Des Lombards, 1979. Also issued as Ruf 1354, Free Bird 209/FLY06, Pläne 88295, Platinum 161354 1979 Live Blue Silver 3001/3321 part 2 of the 1979 Paris concert. also on Blue Sky/Buda 1980 Time Paris Album/Buda 2-28505 1984 Lets Have a Natural Ball JSP 1077 1984 Life is a Bitch Encore!/Melodie 131 Blind Pig 2287 (1987) in the U.S., retitled Serious 1985 Here I Come Encore!/Melodie 133 1987 Rich Man Ruf 8001 also RFR 1005, Charly CRB 1227 1991 More from Berlin East West LACD 1991-2 live, 1989 1994 Soul Fixin' Man Alligator 4820 Ruf 1021 in Europe, retitled Bad Love 1995 Blue Streak Alligator 4834 Ruf 7712 in Europe 1996 Live ’89: Let's Try It Again Ruf 1028 recorded in Berlin, May 1989 1996 Live in Montreux - Where Have You Been? Ruf 1008 recorded 1976-1994 1997 Reckless Alligator 4849 Ruf 1012 in Europe 1999 Live in Chicago Alligator 4869 Ruf 1042 in Europe, recorded 1995-97, 2-disc set 1994 Hand Me Down My Moonshine Inak/Ruf 1047 acoustic 2002 Pay It Forward Ruf 1060 recorded 1984-1994 1999 Standing at the Crossroad Black & Blue 421.1 recorded 1977 in Paris. also Night & Day 210, Blues Reference 2007 Underground Ruf 1132 recorded c. 1968 2009 Songs from the Road Ruf 1157 CD+DVD recorded in Montreal, 1997 Compilations 1995 Sweet Home Chicago Charly BM-37 1996 The Motown Years, 1972-1976 Motown/Universal Video 1998 Live In Paradise Ruf VHS recorded on La Reunion Island, April 1997. also DVD (2001) 2009 Songs from the Road Ruf 1157 CD+DVD recorded in Montreal, 1997