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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pinetop Perkins, Requiescat In Pace.

From The Michigan City News-Dispatch comes news of the death of one of the last great blkuesmen:

Former La Porte resident and Grammy winner Pinetop Perkins dies

LA PORTE — “He’d always say, ‘I done clear out all the fish out of Clear Lake,’” said Buck Levandoski about his late friend, old school bluesman and multi-Grammy winner “Pinetop” Perkins.

Perkins, who was a former resident of La Porte, died from cardiac arrest Monday at his Austin, Texas, home. He was 97.




Perkins was known for his love of fishing and his loving nature, said La Porte resident Shelly Sunderland, who boarded Perkins for a while in her McCollum Street home.

“He loved the lakes here,” she explained. “He’d say his momma’s lake was Lily Lake, Pine Lake was his lake and Clear Lake was where he cleared them all out.”


Levandoski, who owns The Warehouse in La Porte, said he helped bring Perkins into La Porte in the mid-90s, where he stayed until Oct. 7, 2004.

He was known as a down-to-earth man despite his fame.

La Porte resident Donna McCleery said he used his Grammy awards as door stops and enjoyed homemade oxtail stew and sweet potato pie.

He also called her “cooking grandma” because she always made him food.

Sunderland said he had nicknames for everyone. She was “double bubble” because of her bust size; her husband Tom was “high roller” and another woman in town was “Julie with the good booty.”

“It was really sweet and endearing,” she said.

Levandoski said Perkins got him backstage with the Allman Brothers Band, Eric Clapton and Bonnie Raitt.

“He was probably the greatest guy I ever met in my life,” he said. “He was a great friend and his family sort of left him so we got him out of Chicago and here to La Porte and he played all around.”

This included Levandoski’s old bar, Buck’s Workingman’s Pub, on Washington Street.

“He would come down here and sit by his piano and play,” he said. “He just loved playing his music. He would come any time of day if we were there, or I’d pick him up and take him down. The guy just loved music. I’m going to miss him.”

He was originally introduced to Perkins by the late James Wireman, the former singer of the Elwood Splinters Blues Band.

On Feb. 7, 2004, Perkins was taken to La Porte Hospital where he received 45 stitches to his forehead after his 1992 Mercury Sable was hit by a freight train at the Madison Street crossing.

After his hospital stay, he went to live with Sunderland and her husband before leaving for Texas.

Perkins’ musical career includes performances with B.B. King, Earl Hooker and Robert Nighthawk. He toured with Muddy Waters and performed twice at the White House.

On his 90th birthday, Mayor Kathy Chroback proclaimed July 7 as “Pinetop Perkins Day” in La Porte.

Sunderland said she spoke to Perkins about a week ago.

“He was just as sweet as he could be,” she said. “We loved him very much and he loved us.”

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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