Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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EVANS, Terry

Soul Singer Terry Evans was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and like many another, sang in the church choir and had to "slip away" to sing secular songs. He secretly listened to people like Elmore James, Little Walter, Albert King, B.B. King and many others. In the 1960s he worked with an a cappella group called The Knights, touring the South in clubs and juke joints. Gravitating to the west coast, he picked up the guitar and began writing; Pops Staples and Louis Jordan were among those who recorded his songs.

We have all heard Terry Evans, whether we knew it or not. For years he was one of Los Angeles' foremost session vocalists, recording with Staples, John Fogarty, Ry Cooder, Joan Armatrading, John Lee Hooker, Boz Scaggs, Maria Muldaur and many more. He teamed up with Bobby King in the early 1970s; as a duo they appeared at many clubs and festivals, and in particular their distinctive voices were a feature of several Cooder albums, including Chicken Skin Music, Get Rhythm, Show Time, and The Slide Area, while they still toured as a duo. Evans sang lead vocal on "Down in Mississippi" on the Crossroads movie soundtrack album, with Cooder singing the title song; in the actual film, Evans sang the title song. Evans toured with Cooder throughout the U.S.A., Europe and Japan, and Cooder always said that he thought that his dynamic backing singer made a better front man.

Terry's albums with King included Live And Let Live! (1988) and Rhythm, Blues, Soul & Grooves (90). Solo albums have been Blues For Thought (93), Puttin' It Down (95), Come To The River (97), Walk That Walk (2000), Mississippi Magic (2001), Live Like A Hurricane (2003), Fire In The Feeling (2005).