Boogie Woogie Red
Image by Leni Sinclair
Boogie Woogie Red (born Vernon Harrison) was born in Rayville, LA but his family moved to Detroit when he was very young. Under the influence of local musicians Big Maceo and Dr. Clayton, Red taught himself piano. At age 18, he was drawn to the blues scene in Chicago, where he jammed with Lonnie Johnson, Tampa Red and Memphis Slim.
In 1946, he returned to Detroit and for the next fourteen years played with John Lee Hooker. When the Motown sound took over and dried up the blues gigs, Red decided to give up performing. But in 1971 he did a well-received European tour and began performing regularly in the Detroit area, with occasional tours overseas.