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Luther Huff

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Biography

b. 5 December 1910, Fannin, Mississippi, USA, d. 18 November 1973, Detroit, Michigan, USA. Luther and younger brother Percy made only two records in 1951, but they cleaved so startlingly and entertainingly to the old traditions that they have been prized ever since. They learned guitar from older brother Willie and cousin Donnee Howard and, like them, played at fish fries and country picnics. One picnic, held at a plantation in Belzoni, lasted 13 days. Luther bought a mandolin in 1936 and taught himself to play. Drafted into the army in 1942, Luther saw service in England, France and Belgium, where, in 1944, he recorded two acetates, now lost. In 1947, he moved to Detroit and started what would be a large family of 12 children. Percy stayed in Jackson, Mississippi, driving a taxicab. On a visit in 1950, Luther bumped into Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller), who suggested that he and Percy record for Trumpet. Needing train fare home to Detroit, Huff contacted Lillian McMurry and, in January and February 1951, the pair recorded ‘Dirty Disposition’, ‘1951 Blues’, ‘Bull Dog Blues’ and ‘Rosalee’, the latter pair featuring Luther’s mandolin. Luther returned north to work at the Chrysler factory, and later, for Plymouth, making little effort to continue as a musician. In 1968, along with brothers Willie and Percy, he was recorded by Adelphi Records, but the results were never issued.