Today's Articles

People, Locations, Episodes

Wed, 03.23.1932

Iverson Minter, Blues Guitarist born

Iverson Minter

*Iverson Minter was born on this date in 1932.  Also known as Louisiana Red, he was a Black blues guitarist, harmonica player, and singer. 

Born in Bessemer, Alabama, Minter lost his parents early in life; his mother died of pneumonia shortly after his birth, and the Ku Klux Klan lynched his father in 1937. Many relatives brought him up in various towns and cities.  Minter recorded for Chess in 1949 before joining the Army. He was trained as a parachutist with the 82nd Airborne and was sent to Korea in 1951. The 82nd Airborne was not deployed as a complete unit in Korea, but soldiers from this unit were dispatched as Rangers in the 2nd, 3rd, and 7th Infantry Divisions. Minter was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division.  

After leaving the Army, he played with John Lee Hooker in Detroit for two years in the late 1950s. He recorded for Checker Records in 1952, billed as Rocky Fuller.  His first album, Lowdown Back Porch Blues, was recorded in New York with Tommy Tucker and released in 1963. His second album, Seventh Son, was released later the same year. Louisiana Red released the single "I'm Too Poor to Die" for the Glover label in 1964. It peaked at number 117 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 30 on the Cashbox chart. (Billboard did not publish an R&B chart in 1964).  Minter was also married to Folk artist Odetta.  He maintained a busy recording and performing schedule through the 1960s and 1970s, working in sessions for Chess, Checker, Atlas, Glover, Roulette, L&R, and Tomato, amongst others. In 1983 he won a W. C. Handy Award for Best Traditional Blues Male Artist. 

He lived in Hanover, Germany, since 1981. He appeared in the films Rockpalast (1976), Comeback (1982), Ballhaus Barmbek (1988), Red and Blues (2005), and Family Meeting (2008).   In 1994, Minter fused the blues with the urban Greek music of the bouzouki player Stelios Vamvakaris on the album Blues Meets Rembetika. He continued to tour, including regular returns to the United States until his death. In 2011, he released the album Memphis Mojo to broad public acclaim.  Iverson Minter recorded more than 50 albums. He was best known for his song Sweet Blood Call died on February 25, 2012, in Hanover, aged 79.  Musician and producer Michael Messer noted on that day, "I am very sorry to be the bringer of such sad news that my dear friend, Louisiana Red, died this morning. He had a stroke on Monday and had been in a coma."  

New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

Your door is shut against my tightened face, And I am sharp as steel with discontent; But I possess the courage and the grace To bear my anger proudly... THE WHITE HOUSE by Claude McKay.
Read More