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Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup
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Vocalist
    (August 24, 1905-March 28, 1974)
    Born in Forest, Mississippi
    Blues singer/guitarist
    Wrote and recorded 'That's All Right (Mama),' 'My Baby Left Me' and 'So Glad You're Mine'
    Subject of the documentary 'Arthur Crudup: Born in the Blues' (1973)
    Last name pronounced 'crew-dup'
    He did not begin playing guitar until he was 32.
    He had an oddly high-pitched voice for a man who weighed 220 pounds.
    To get around his contract, he also recorded as Elmer James and Percy Lee Crudup.
    His stage fright limited his career in the 1940s.
    After retiring from music and returning to farming, he supplemented his income by selling moonshine.
    He called Elvis Presley 'Elvin Preston.'
    His name looks like it could be pronounced 'crud-up.'
    After a promoter stranded his gospel group in Chicago, he was living in a cardboard box and playing in the streets to earn enough money to get back to Mississippi when a record producer discovered him (1941).
    His contract paid him a flat $200 per session with no performing or publishing royalties.
    Elvis Presley recorded three of his songs and said, 'If I ever got to the place where I could feel all old Arthur felt, I'd be a music man like nobody ever saw.'
    When his songs became hits for Elvis, B.B. King and Big Mama Thornton, he noted 'I was making everybody rich, and here I am poor.'
    He was rediscovered during the early 60s folk revival and overcame his stage fright enough to make a modest living.
    He was touring with Bonnie Raitt shortly before his death.
    After his death, his children won two million dollars in back royalties from his old labels.

Credit: C. Fishel


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