Hersal Thomas

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Hersal Thomas seated and his older brother George W. Thomas

Hersal Thomas (* 9. September 1906 in Houston , Texas ; † 2. June 1926 in Detroit , Michigan ) was an American jazz - and blues - a pianist and composer . Despite his early death, he strongly influenced the development of boogie-woogie and piano blues. So called him Jimmy Yancey , Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis as their main musical influence.

Live and act

Hersal Thomas was born in Houston, Texas as one of 13 children into a musical family. In addition to Hersal, his brother George W. Thomas was also a gifted pianist, while his sister Sippie Wallace and niece Hociel Thomas sang.

His talent was discovered at a very young age. While he initially worked with his brother George in the clubs and theaters of New Orleans , he moved to Chicago with his sister Sippie in 1923 , where he in turn worked with his brother George and niece Hociel Thomas.

Hersal Thomas took up piano roles from 1924 and records from 1925 both as a soloist and as an accompanist to Hociel Thomas, Sippie Wallace, Lilian Miller and Sodarisa Miller. Shortly before his death, he went on tour with Louis Armstrong and King Oliver . His last work before his death was on March 4, 1926, when he accompanied Lilian Miller on her Okeh recording of The Kitchen Blues .

Hersal Thomas died on June 2, 1926, while performing at Penny's Pleasure Inn in Detroit, from food poisoning. The circumstances of his death have never been clarified.

His sister Sippie Wallace recorded seven of his compositions: A Jealous Woman Like Me, A Man for Every Day of the Week, Dead Drunk Blues, Have You Ever Been Down ?, I Feel Good, Shorty George Blues and Trouble Everywhere I Roam.

His most famous recording is probably the Suitcase Blues (8958-A Okeh 8227); the two brothers also wrote The Five together in 1921 , which Ammons and Lewis described as one of the basic boogie woogies.

Lexigraphic entries

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Hersal Thomas - Michigan Death Certificates, 1921–1952 on FamilySearch
  2. Hersal Thomas at Allmusic (English)