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Very little is known about pianist Porter Grainger despite the fact that he appeared on many records in the 1920's, mostly backing blues and vaudeville singers. Not considered that great a pianist, Grainger's main fame during his lifetime was as a composer for musical shows. He was playing music professionally at least as early as 1916 and in the 1920's wrote for several shows. Grainger was Bessie Smith's accompanist in the 1928 production Mississippi Days and recorded with her in addition to Gladys Bryant, Ethel Finnie, Dolly Ross, Clint Jones, Ada Brown, Buddy Christian's Four Cry-Babies and the Harmony Hounds among others. Grainger's own two sessions as a leader found him backing either the "Three Jazz Songsters" or the "Jubilee Singers" so there is precious little of him on record. After the close of the 1920's, Porter Grainger slipped permanently into obscurity; even his birth and death dates are not known. A 1996 RST CD has many of Grainger's main recordings. ~ Scott Yanow