Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

CRUDUP, Arthur 'Big Boy'

(b 24 Aug. '05, Forest MS; d 28 March '74, Nassawadox VA) Blues singer. Worked parties c'39 in Clarksdale area; recorded for Bluebird/Victor '41--2, '45--52, other labels in '50s (LP on Fire label in Nashville '59 for which Elvis Presley allegedly put up the money), Delmark '67, Liberty '70. (Crudup's Mood on Delmark retitled Meets The Bassists on CD, incl. studio talk with Willie Dixon etc; Look On Yonder's Wall on Delmark has Ransom Knowling on bass.) Mean Ol' Frisco '62 on Collectables was on Charly in UK. Like others he was rediscovered, in his case because he was a direct infl. on Presley, who recorded three of his songs: 'That's All Right, Mama' on first release '54, 'So Glad You're Mine', 'My Baby Left Me' both '56. His songs were published by Hill and Range; Crudup never saw the royalties from the Presley records, which outsold everything Crudup ever did in his lifetime. At Ann Arbor Blues Festival '69, many others; toured England, on BBC TV '70--71; Australia '72; French film Out Of The Blacks Into The Blues '72; TV film Arthur Crudup: Born In The Blues '73; toured with Bonnie Raitt '74. It became fashionable to denigrate him, but it was unfair to judge him by RCA compilations that didn't incl. e.g. 'Goin' Back To Georgia', one of his best (c'50, Judge Riley on drums, Knowling on bass); his own 'My Baby Left Me' '51 was clumsy compared to Presley's, but there was little money for second takes in 'race music', while it was one of Presley's best, with that urgency unique to horny rockabillies.