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Jimmy Witherspoon

Biography

With a voice as tasty as grandma's cooking, Witherspoon hit the 1940s running and had a series of hit records. The Blues that burst out of him were tinged with a weary sense of loss: he roared but it was almost a quiet roar. By the mid-'50s, he was considered all washed up. He started recording with a series of jazz greats such as Ben Webster, Richard “Groove” Holmes, and Buck Clayton. It was a move that did more than just revive his career: his music was better than ever. Witherspoon's intense delivery is so powerful that he can lay out during long solos and his presence can still be felt. More soul is found in his music than in a cemetery. He left that soul with us when he finally lost his long battle with throat cancer in '97. He was singing until the end.
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