I Would Love To Be A Hippy - July 15, 2012
Here’s our latest release, written by “Champion Jack” Dupree, whose colorful story is both unique and representative of a generation of early blues piano players. Born William Thomas Dupree in 1908-10 in New Orleans (the precise date is unknown), orphaned at the age of 2 (plus or minus) when both of his parents are killed in a house fire, later discovered to have been set by the Ku Klux Klan. Growing up in the New Orleans Colored Waifs’ Home for Boys, Dupree got his first piano lessons, and snuck out to run with the Yellow Pocahontas Mardi Gras Indian tribe as “spy boy”, and do his fair share of sneaking into “adult establishments” to watch the older piano players. At age 18 he took up boxing, fought a total of 107 professional bouts, and won the Indiana state lightweight title, earning the nickname “Champion Jack”. In 1940 he began a recording career that produced over 100 sides released on 21 different small record labels. During WWII he joined the Navy, working as a cook, spent 2 years as a Japanese POW, and learned that Europe offered a more hospitable reception to American blues musicians than he had experienced in the U.S. So, most of his career as a musician was spent living in Europe, (Germany, Switzerland, Sweden), where in the 1960s he got “re-discovered”, as part of the international blues revival, by British rock record producers (folks behind the early recordings of Savoy Brown, Fleetwood Mac, Ten Years After). This tune presents Champion Jack’s candid assessment of the Psychedelic 60’s from the vantage point of his years of experience.
This is the 2nd track in my current project - a set of tunes written by New Orleans piano players – the first being Dr. John’s “The Ears Are On Strike”. Like “Ears”, this was recorded live at Studio e in Sebastopol, CA with the same personnel: Dave Aguilar, guitar (1st solo); John Salz, guitar (2nd solo); Mark Metoyer, bass; Luis Rodriguez, drums; and yours truly on vocals and keyboards. Jason Andrews and Jeff Martin engineered the live recording session; Harry Gale mixed the tracks at Route 44 Studios in Sebastopol. Now available as a download from CD Baby. Coming soon to Apple iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and other services.