Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Feb 22 1925: Blues pianist Hersal Thomas records Suitcase Blues for Okeh Records, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Who is Hersal Thomas (besides the sister and early partner of Sippie Wallace)? Check this out BE INFORMED…

HERSAL THOMAS (1910–1926). Hersal Thomas, child prodigy pianist, was born in Houston, Texas in 1910. The most famous member of the Thomas family, however, was Hersal's older sister, the sensational blues singer Beulah "Sippie" Wallace.

Hersal's life was intertwined with Sippie's. When he was a small child, he performed with her on Houston street corners for tips.

In 1915 Hersal and Sippie moved to New Orleans to live with their brother George. They performed in New Orleans clubs and worked theaters throughout the South. In 1923 the two moved to Chicago
 After moving to Chicago, in addition to playing in local Chicago venues, he toured with Louis Armstrong, Joe "King" Oliver, and Sippie.--Dig it, this cat was 13 years old at the time!!!
 Hersal also backed his niece, Hociel, on most of her recordings.

 In 1925, at the age of fifteen, he recorded "Hersal Blues" and the piano classic "Suitcase Blues."

At the age of sixteen, while performing at Penny's Pleasure Inn in Detroit, he “MYSTERIOUSLY” contracted food poisoning and died on July 3, 1926. The circumstances of his death have never been clarified.

R.I.P. Hersal,
 ‘cause now a few more people understand who you were…

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