Rosco Gordon

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Vee Jay Records/All Music

Blues singer, songwriter and businessman Rosco N. Gordon III was born in Memphis, Tennessee on April 10, 1928 and died of a heart attack in Queens, New York City, on July 11, 2002. He is regarded as a pioneer of the Memphis Blues style of blues music. His biggest successes were “Booted” and “No More Doggin'” in 1952 and “Just a Little Bit” in 1960. He was one of the “Beale Streeters” along with Johnny Ace, Bobby Bland and B. B. King.

Wikipedia notes that

In 1962, he quit the music industry and moved to Queens, New York City, with his new wife, where he purchased a partnership in a laundry business. Following his wife’s death in 1984, he returned to performing in the New York area.

Noble “Thin Man” Watts

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Noble “Thin Man” Watts | Getty Images

Instrumentalist, arranger and band leader Noble “Thin Man” Watts was born on February 17, 1926 and died on August 24, 2004. He specialised in jump blues, blues and rhythm and blues music.

Wikipedia notes:

“Born in DeLand, Florida, Watts studied violin and trumpet in his youth, later switching to sax[ophone]. He gained musical training at Florida A&M, where he played in the school’s marching band with future saxophonist Cannonball Adderley.”

He is mentioned in the 2012 book “The One – The Life and Music of James Brown” as being a major influence on funk music and especially James Brown.