Obit of the Day: “Louisiana Red”
Iverson Minter had a hard childhood. His mother died just after he was born. His father died when the Ku Klux Klan lynched him. He was left in an orphanage in New Orleans until his grandmother was found and he was sent to Pittsburgh. Then things began to improve.
Minter fell in love with the blues sound and played slide guitar and harmonica. As a teenager he ended up in Detroit befriending Johnny Lee Hooker and Eddie Burns, where he recorded his first albums (simply imitations of Muddy Waters) as “Rocky Fuller.” In 1962, when he was 30, Minter headed to New York and began to develop his own style and recorded several albums as “Louisiana Red.”
Louisiana Red found a small following in the U.S. (he was awarded the W.C. Handy Award for Best Blues Performer in 1983) but he was loved in Europe. Red would eventually move to Germany and travel the continent to record with musicians from various countries including Greece and Poland and recorded in Czechoslovakia and Iceland, as well.
Red experienced a small resurgence in the United States when Earwig Records in Chicago released previously unheard works on the album Sittin’ Here Wonderin’. Earwig then worked with Red to release some of his European work stateside. He was named Best Acoustic Player and given Best Acoustic Album awards at the Blues Music Awards in 2010.
Iverson Minter, aka Louisiana Red, died at the age of 79.
(Sittin’ Here Wonderin’ is copyright 1995 Earwig Records)