Tampa Red

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Tampa Red (born January 8, 1904 in Smithville , Georgia , † March 19, 1981 in Chicago , Illinois ; actually Hudson Whittaker , born Hudson Woodbridge ) was an American singer and guitarist . He was one of the most outstanding slide guitarists and was also known as The Guitar Wizard . The special thing about his guitar playing was that he used a short bottleneck that did not go over the entire fingerboard and thus made it possible to use the finger to grip the strings. In contrast to almost all other slide guitarists of the time, he played on a normally tuned guitar, while the majority of guitarists used open moods for slide play .


Tampa Red moved to Chicago in the 1920s, where he formed the duo Hokum Boys with Georgia Tom Dorsey , which had a hit with the title It's Tight Like That .

After his wife's death in 1953, which he never overcame, his drinking problems became acute and his career broke off.

Despite interest in blues music from the 20s and 30s, Tampa Red was unable to build a new career. After the death of his new partner in the 1970s, who structured his daily routine and took care of him, the blues musician lived in an old people's home. In 1981, the same year he died impoverished, Tampa Red was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame .


From the 1920s to the 1950s, Tampa Red was one of Chicago's leading blues musicians alongside Big Bill Broonzy and later Muddy Waters . He helped many musicians who had traveled from the country, such as Big Maceo Merriweather , over the initial period and turned his house into a practice room for the blues scene. Tampa Red made many recordings in the areas of hokum , pop , jive and especially blues. With Anna Lou Blues , Black Angel Blues , Crying Won't Help You , It Hurts Me Too and Love Her with a Feeling , some classic blues compositions come from him. In December 1942, Tampa Red had a hit on the "Harlem Hit Parade" (the forerunner of the R&B charts) with Let Me Play with Your Poodle ; He hit the R&B charts in 1949 with When Things Go Wrong with You .

In the early 1960s, Tampa Red recorded a few more LPs. Most of them were solo recordings, on which he accompanied himself with guitar and kazoo . The pianist Cow Cow Davenport supported him on some pieces .


  • Don't Tampa with the Blues (1961)
  • Don't Jive with Me (1961)
  • How Long (1963)
  • Bottleneck Guitar (1928-1937) (1974)
  • Tampa Red (1982)
  • It's Tight Like That (1991)
  • In Chronological Order Vol. 1: May 1928 To 12 January 1929. (1991)
  • Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1929) (1991)
  • Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order Vol. 4 (1930-31). (1991)
  • Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order Vol. 5 (1931-34). (1991)
  • Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 9 (1937-1938) (1993)
  • Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 10 (1938-1939) (1993)
  • Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 11 (1939-1940) (1993)
  • Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 12 (1941-1945) (1993)
  • Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 15 ( 1993)
  • Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 13 (1945-1947) (1994)
  • Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order, Vol. 7: 27 July 1935 To 5 August 1936 (1994)
  • Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 8 (1936-1937) (1996)
  • 1928-1946 (1999)
  • Don't Jive Me (2002)
  • Guitar & Piano Duets (2007) with Big Maceo
  • Bluebird Recordings 1936-1938 (2007)
  • Roots N'Blues-the Guitar Wizard (2008)
  • You Cant Get That Stuff No More (2008)
  • Midnight Blues

The Complete Recorded Works were published by Document Records .

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