Monday, December 04, 2006

Wordie Perkins Passes


It is with a heavy heart that I bring this announcement from Inside Sounds in Memphis, TN.
I am reprinting with permission the notice on the passing of Wordie Perkins. My thanks to Inside Sounds. I thank Kieth Soltys and Eddie Dattel for keeping me informed and allowing me to share the information.

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Wordie Perkins, one of the great Memphis blues guitar players of all time, passed away November 24, 2006. Featured as Will Roy Sanders’ foil in the fabulous Fieldstones since 1974, Perkins and Sanders’ two guitar attack created legions of blues fans from every country in the world, who either saw the Fieldstones on their infrequent tours of Australia and South America or came to hear them play in Memphis’ wildest area juke joints like J&J’s Lounge, Green’s Lounge, and, most recently, the Blue Worm.

Perkins died due to heart failure after a year of various operations. While the operations and sickness slowed him down and made him weak, the potential for one final European tour kept Perkins’ ebullient spirit going through difficult times. Always a prankster with a quip, Perkins constantly had a smile on his face and tune ready in his guitar.

Growing up near Senatobia where he learned to play guitar as a youngster, Perkins moved to Memphis in 1950, joining the Thrillers in 1960. Soon thereafter, he began playing with Leroy Hodges, Sr’s. band, the Funky Four, from 1962 until 1974, when the Fieldstones formed out of the remnants of Hodges’ band (Hodges became the conduit that connected all future Fieldstone band members). Perkins sharp guitar style created some of the Fieldstones’ most memorable dance songs like “The Thing,” “The Squeeze,” and “Let’s Do It.” He also recently wrote the Memphis River Kings’ theme song, “River Kings Rock.” His total discography includes 2 full length cds and 2 45s with the Fieldstones as well as the cd single for the River Kings. Perkins amazing guitar playing, cool composure, and positive spirit is already missed by blues fans everywhere.

The family requests that any memorial donations be made to the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Memphis, TN 38114."

**I removed the funeral information as it took place Decmber 1, 2006.

Rest in Peace Wordie, you will be missed...

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