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I Dare You Baby
by Eddie Tigner
Eddie Tigner (1926 to 2019) was an American 'blues' keyboardist, singer and songwriter. Edward Tigner Junior was born in Macon, Georgia, USA, on August 11th 1926. His father died while he was very young, from the effects of gas poisoning suffered during World War I. When the boy was six years old, the family relocated to a mining camp in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, after his mother re-married to a coal miner. He heard all the 'country' and 'bluegrass' music popular in that region, as well as African-American 'blues'. When he was 14 the family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he would hear his mother playing the 'barrelhouse blues' on piano at house parties there (he also often went with her to evening engagements she got as an in-demand performer). During his US Army military service in 1945, Tigner learned to play the piano himself, and was put in charge of booking entertainment for the servicemen. He would also transport Bill Kenny (a founding member of the 'Ink Spots') to the army base at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland to perform. He also met T-Bone Walker during this time, and after his discharge in 1947 returned to Atlanta and assembled his first group, called the 'Maroon Notes'. He played the vibraphone for them, and they found intermittent work in both Georgia and Florida (he would also work in Atlanta as the pianist for comedian Spencer 'Snake' Anthony). In 1959, he helped re-unite a fractured 'Ink Spots' by playing with them during a show in Atlanta, and joined them full-time for many years, sometimes reciting the spoken monologues between the song verses. They toured the US for decades, and he also backed Elmore James for a couple of years too. Tigner's second wife Ollie sometimes joined him touring the country, and the group eventually became billed as 'Ed Tigner's Ink Spots'. However, constant touring took its toll and he suffered a heart attack - they left the outfit in 1987 and returned home to Atlanta so he could recuperate. However, in 1991 he was persuaded to return to music playing the 'blues' at clubs in and around Atlanta, with the encouragement of local guitarist Danny 'Mudcat' Dudeck. He worked a day job in the kitchen at a local elementary school, and settled with his wife in a modest wooden house in Edgewood. In the same year, Dudeck introduced him to the Music Maker Relief Foundation, which helped him with his medical costs, supplied him with a new keyboard and helped arrange a passport. In 2003 he released his first album, "Route 66", containing 12 songs - he also began touring again, appearing at the Chicago Blues Festival and Australia's Byron Bay Bluesfest, plus a six week tour of Europe in 2010. Tigner's second album, "Slippin' In", came out in 2009, and locally he began performing regularly at Fat Matt's Rib Shack and also at the Northside Tavern. However, his overseas travelling ended in 2012 after he was diagnosed with early onset of Alzheimer's disease. Despite this, he continued performing when he could, even singing and playing at his 92nd birthday. He appeared on a number of compilation CDs, and was featured in the book "Music Makers: Portraits and Songs from the Roots of America" (2004), plus the "Music Maker" documentary film called "Toot Blues". Eddie Tigner died at his home in Atlanta on April 18th 2019, aged 92. http://www.makingascene.org/eddie-tigner-1926-2019-r-i-p/
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Tigner
Posted: 19th May 2019
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† REST IN PEACE †
Hundreds of very talented musicians pass away each year, some without much recognition at all. On "Rest In Peace", I aim to give them a fitting 'send-off', with a decent Tribute. I hope you will join me in marking their passing.....
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