Henry Gray – Shake A Hand

henry gray

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Henry Gray was born Jan.19/1925 in Kenner/LA
He started playing piano at the age of 8. At the age of 16 he started to play professionally at a club in Louisiana.He joined the army at the age of 18.He played Piano at the troops and after 3 years he went home to Louisiana.

After a short stay Henry Gray moved to Chicago,where he could make more money and could meet other young piano players like Otis Spann and Little Johnny Jones. Also Big Maceo Merriweather ,another piano player,took him under his wing and got a great influence in his own style. A meeting with Jimmy Rogers,Muddy Waters
guitarist,brought him to the recording studio of Chess Records in 1952,Where he recorded behind him.he became Chicago’s finest pianists.henry toured with Little Walter and played with Chicago‘s finest
Artists: Magic Sam,Buddy Guy,J.B.Lenoir, Elmore James and m.o.henry joined Howling
Wolfs band in 1956 and got his pianist for the next 12 years Henry Gray played at Wolfs greatest
Recordings like Goin‘ down Slow or I ain‘t superstitious. In 1968 he moved back to Alsen,LA to help
his mother after the death of his father..

The next 15 years Henry Gray worked as a roofer,but he also worked as amusician,Mostly with
Slim Harpo,with whom he created the Swamp Blues.in 1977 he cut his first album and after another 11years the album ‚Lucky Man for Blind Pig.
Henry played on every great festival in LA like the Baton Rouge fest and the jazz& Heritage festival in N.O..in 1998 he recorded a tribute to Howling Wolf album with harp Player&Producer Bob Corritore for which he got a Grammy Nomination in 1998 Henry Gray was invited to play at mick jagger‘s birthday Party. In his last years he lost his wife (2005), than he lost his home 2016 in the Louisiana floods and got different health problems
(Lung Problems and a heart attack)
But he still was playing his great piano
Style in his Baton Rouge area (also in Tabby’s Blues Box)).he died feb 20,2020.

Sound example.