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Henry TownsendHenry Townsend remembered

Friends and family converged on BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups to celebrate Henry's memory on what was his 100th Birthday. Henry's son Alonzo Townsend honored his father as he would have loved, with blues music!

Townsend was born in Shelby, Mississippi and grew up in Cairo, Illinois. He left home at the age of nine because of an abusive father and hoboed his way to St. Louis, Missouri. By the late 1920s he had begun touring and recording with pianist Walter Davis, and had acquired the nickname "Mule" because he was sturdy in both physique and character.

Townsend was one of the only artists known to have recorded in every decade for the last 80 years. Townsend died at the age of 96, on September 24, 2006, at St. Mary's Ozaukee Hospital, Mequon, Wisconsin, just hours after having been the first person to be presented with a 'key' in Grafton's Paramount Plaza Walk of Fame. On February 10, 2008, Henry Townsend posthumously received a Grammy Award at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards in the Best Traditional Blues Album category for his performances on Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen: Live In Dallas released by The Blue Shoe Project.

On hand were musicians that had performed with Henry. Taking the stage first was young Marquise Knox, one of the youngest to study directly under Henry.

Other friends on hand to perform included two St. Louis icons, Ron Edwards and Silvercloud. The evening's music was concluded by the biggest 2 piece band in the land, Lightnin' Malcom and Cedric Burnside!

As long as the Blues live in St. Louis, Henry Townsend will always remain a legend in this music town! May his music be eternal.

Interview with Steve Pick | Henry Townsend – The Real St. Louis Blues & Mule

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Marquise Knox & Alonzo Townsend
  • Marquise Knox & Alonzo Townsend
    Marquise Knox & Alonzo Townsend
  • Marquise Knox
    Marquise Knox
  • Ron Edwards & Silvercloud
    Ron Edwards & Silvercloud
  • Ron Edwards & Silvercloud
    Ron Edwards & Silvercloud
  • Ron Edwards
    Ron Edwards
  • Silvercloud
  • Ron  Edwards, Silvercloud & Bob Case
    Ron Edwards, Silvercloud & Bob Case
  • Cedric Burnside
    Cedric Burnside
  • Lightning Malcolm
    Lightning Malcolm

Marquise Knox & Alonzo Townsend
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