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Lowell Fulson

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Tulsa OK, United States (1921 – 1999)

Lowell Fulson (March 31, 1921 – March 7, 1999) was a big-voiced blues guitarist and songwriter, in the West Coast blues tradition. Fulson was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He also recorded for business reasons as Lowell Fullsom and Lowell Fulsom. After T-Bone Walker, Fulson was the most important figure in West Coast blues in the 1940s and 1950s.

According to some sources, Fulson was born on a Choctaw reservation in Oklahoma. Fulson has stated that he is of Cherokee ancestry through his father, but he has also claimed Choctaw ancestry. At the age of eighteen, Fulson moved to Ada, Oklahoma, and joined Alger “Texas” Alexander for a few months in 1940, but later moved to California, forming a band which soon included a young Ray Charles and tenor saxophone player, Stanley Turrentine. He recorded for Swing Time in the 1940s, Chess Records (Checker Records) in the 1950s, Kent Records in the 1960s, and Rounder Records (Bullseye) in the 1970s.

“Reconsider Baby” came from a long term pact inked with Chess Records in 1954. It was cut in Dallas under Stan Lewis’ supervision with a saxophone section that included David “Fathead” Newman on tenor and Leroy Cooper on baritone.

Jackie Brenston played in Fulson’s band between 1952 and 1954.

Fulson stayed with Checker into 1962, but a change of record labels worked wonders when he jumped over to the Los Angeles based, Kent Records. 1965’s driving “Black Nights” became his first hit in a decade, and “Tramp,” did even better, restoring the guitarist to R&B stardom.

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