The Houston Press website is reporting on the death of Texas blues legend, Big Walter Price, better known to many fans as "The Thunderbird," on March 6, 2012. Price was 97 years and living in a Houston nursing home at the time of his death.
The boogie-woogie blues pianist was born in Gonzales, Texas and moved to San Antonio as a child. In 1955, Price recorded several singles for the local TNT Records label as "Big Walter and the Thunderbirds." Later that year he moved to Houston, where he hooked up with Don Roby's Peacock Records and released several singles, including his best-known song "Pack Fair and Square," later covered by the J. Geils Band.
Price continued to record throughout the 1960s, but was generally unpleased with his treatment by the notoriously cutthroat regional music business. Through the years, Price worked as a DJ, owned his own record store, and launched a music publishing company. Many of Price's recordings were unauthorized and he received little in the way of royalties from them, but he did release a few authorized albums during the CD era, the most recent being 2006's Texas Southside Kings, released by Austin's Dialtone Records.
Writer David Vest shares his memories of Big Walter Price on the Oregon Music News website. Our thoughts go out to Price's family, friends, and fans in the Houston area and elsewhere.
Photo courtesy Diablo Records U.K.