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Sam Carr Obituary

Sam Carr (AP Photo)
Sam Carr (AP Photo)
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Sam Carr, a drummer who was considered an anchor in the blues scene that continues to draw fans to the poverty-stricken Delta region where the music form was born, died Monday. He was 83.

Carr died of congestive heart failure, said John Andrews, director of Century Funeral Home in Clarksdale.

Carr had a reputation as one of the best blues drummers in the country, but he made his living in the Mississippi Delta where he was raised.

At one time or another, Carr had backed big names like Sonny Boy Williamson II and Buddy Guy.

Carr had received multiple honors, including the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2007. He also received several awards from Living Blues magazine.

Carr's father was 1930s blues guitarist and vocalist Robert Nighthawk who made famous the song, "Sweet Black Angel." Early in his career Carr often played with father.

Carr was born Samuel Lee McCollum in 1926 near Marvell, Ark. His name was changed after he was adopted as a toddler by a Mississippi family with a farm near Dundee, according to a biography written by Barretta.

He moved back to Arkansas at age 16 and collected money at door of clubs where his father performed.

He worked as a sharecropper before turning his full attention to blues music, moving to St. Louis and playing bass with harmonica player Tree Top Slim.

He returned to Mississippi in the early 1960s and formed the Jellyroll Kings.


Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press
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