Leroy Carr

Leroy Carr was one of the most popular Blues pianist during the mid-1920’s and 1930. He wrote numerous songs that becane classics. He wrote Blues Before Sunrise, How Long How Long Blues, Mean Mistreator and many other lovely pieces. Leroy Carr was not your typical Delta blues shouter. His voice was mellow and his piano was always rolling, laid back and unhurried. The best way to describe to describe Leroy Carr’s music is “bitter sweet”. His piano playing was never very complicated and he played nothing flashy on the piano. Like most great players, technique is just a means to an end, technique on its own has little merits and technique alone doesn’t move hearts. Listening to his music always brings a smile to your face. He sang sad songs, he sang about being mistreated by loved ones, about Blues before sunrise with tears in his eyes. But it was always mellow and soft-spoken and sway your heart every so gently.

Leroy Carr was brought up in Indianapolis and he was a heavy drinker. In 1928 he met his life long partner Scrapper Blackwell. If there was ever a perfect marriage in the musical sense, the marriage of Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell was a marriage made in heaven. The single string runs of Scrapper Blackwell complemented perfectly with the laid back rolling piano of Leroy Carr. Leroy Carr was just inseperable with Scrapper Black, you cannot mention one without the other and you cannot think of the one without thinking of the other. In the last years of Leroy Carr’s life, all the drinking he had took their toll. Leroy Carr died on 28th April, 1935. Scrapper Blackwell was absolutely devasted by Leroy Carr's death and soon gave up music althoghther. Scrapper Blackwell was subsequently killed in a street fight. With Scrapper Blackwell's death, the last page of the last chapter of one of the most impressive duet was turned.

The CD above was released by Portrait Masters serial number VRK-44122.


Here is a very rare picture of Scrapper Blackwell :-