Huey “Piano” Smith Passed Away At 89
via Huey "Piano" Smith - Topic / Youtube
Huey “Piano” Smith, a pioneering figure in R&B and early rock ‘n’ roll music, passed away on Monday at age 89.
Piano’s daughter, Acquelyn Donsereaux, confirmed the sad news saying:
“He just slept away. Daddy was the most positive person I know. Easygoing and funny. He was a comedian until the last couple of hours.”
Born in New Orleans in 1934, Smith who was, growing up, influenced by the regional music played by Professor Longhair, signed his first recording contract with Savoy Records at the age of 18. The label released his first single, “You Made Me Cry.”
Three years later, Smith became the piano player in Little Richard’s first group while he was recording for Specialty Records. Moving forward to 1957, Huey “Piano” Smith and His Clowns were formed. That same year, the group recorded chart-topping classics such as “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu.”
Smith and His Clowns last performance was recorded in 1981 at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. In 2000, Smith received the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation.
Meanwhile, his passing will surely make, not just his fans, but also some rock and roll icons mourn. Considering that his songs were being covered widely by everyone from Bruce Springsteen, to Tom Jones, Paul Simon, Jerry Lee Lewis and the Grateful Dead, Smith was and will always be one of the true originators of rock and roll.