Rosco Gordon

Born 10 April 1928. Died 11 July 2002.


Rosco Gordon (April 10, 1928 – July 11, 2002) was an American blues singer and songwriter. He is best known for his 1952 No. 1 R&B hit single, "Booted", and two No. 2 singles "No More Doggin'" (1952 RPM 350) and "Just a Little Bit" (1960 Vee-Jay 332).

Born in Memphis, Tennessee and grew up on Florida street, Gordon was a pioneer of the Memphis Blues style. Gordon used a style of piano-playing known as 'The Rosco rhythm' and made a number of his early recordings for Sam Phillips at Sun Records. This rhythm, where the emphasis is on the off-beats, was an influence on the Jamaican pianist Theophilus Beckford and hence on reggae music as a whole.

"Booted" and "No More Doggin'" were both released in 1952. Phillips sold the master of "Booted" to both RPM and Chess Records and both labels released the track as a single. The RPM release reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B record chart. Chess and the Bihari brothers later settled the conflict, with the Biharis getting exclusive rights to Gordon and Chess signing Howlin' Wolf to an exclusive contract.

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