Lowell Fulson

Lowell Fulson

 

March 31, 1921 – March 7, 1999

Born on March 31, 1921, in Tulsa to parents of Choctaw and African American descent, blues musician Lowell Fulson grew up around Ada, Oklahoma, where his grandfather played violin and two of his uncles played guitar. Fulson played in church and at picnics as a boy and in Ada clubs as a teenager. During military service from 1943 to 1945 he learned of the music scene in Oakland, California, and moved there in 1946. That year he recorded "Cryin' Blues" and "You're Going to Miss Me When I'm Gone," including his brother, Martin Fulson, on guitar. In 1947 Fulson recorded the rhythm-and-blues (R&B) hit "Three O'Clock Blues." He moved to Los Angeles in 1949 where he recorded "Everyday I Have the Blues," which rose to Number Five on the rhythm and blues (R&B) charts. During this period his addition of a horn section to the standard electric blues combo of bass, guitar, and drums defined the West Coast "uptown blues" sound.  After serving in the Navy in World War Two and recording for Swing Time, Lowell recorded for Chess/Checker beginning in 1954, where his band included David "Fathead" Newman on tenor.

Fulson also had hits with "Blue Shadows" (Number One) and "Lonesome Christmas" (Number Seven) in 1950. In 1954 he released "Reconsider Baby" (Number Three), later to become a blues standard covered by Elvis Presley and Eric Clapton. In 1967 he had his final R&B hits with "Make a Little Love" and "Tramp." His 1988 Rounder Records album, It's a Good Day, garnered high critical praise. In the 1990s Fulson recorded for Bullseye Records in his familiar style, and in 1993 he received five W. C. Handy Awards and was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of Fame. His 1996 album, Them Update Blues (Rounder), was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Traditional Blues category. He died near Seal Beach, California, on March 6, 1999.

Foley, Hugh W. Jr.  "Fulson, Lowell."  Oklahoma Historical Society.  http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/F/FU001.html

Discography (via Wikipedia)

1959 Back Home Blues Night Train
1966 Soul Kent
1967 Tramp
1969 Now
In a Heavy Bag Jewel
1970 Hung Down Head Chess
1971 Let's Go Get Stoned Kent
1973 I've Got the Blues Jewel
1975 Lowell Fulson (Early Recordings) Arhoolie
Ol' Blues Singer Granite
1976 Lowell Fulson Chess
1984 Everyday I Have the Blues Night Train
One More Blues Black & Blue
1988 San Francisco Blues Black Lion
It's a Good Day Rounder
1992 Hold On Bullseye Blues
1995 Sinner's Prayer Night Train
Them Update Blues Bullseye Blues
1996 Mean Old Lonesome Blues Night Train
1997 The Complete Chess Masters (50th Anniversary Collection) Chess
2001 I've Got the Blues (... and Then Some) (complete Jewel recordings) Westside UK
2002 The Complete Kent Recordings 1964–1968 P-Vine
2004 1946–1953, Vols. 1–4 (complete Big Town, Downbeat/Swing Time recordings)