May 14, 1934 |
Waskom, Texas, U.S.
|Genres||Texas blues, electric blues|
Grady Gaines (born May 14, 1934, Waskom, Texas) is an American electric blues, Texas blues and jazz blues tenor saxophonist, who performed and recorded with Little Richard in the 1950s. He backed other musicians such as Dee Clark, Little Willie John, Sam Cooke, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, and Joe Tex. He has released three albums.
Gaines worked as a session musician for Peacock Records. He played on Big Walter Price's "Pack Fair and Square" and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's "Dirty Work at the Crossroads," before joining Little Richard's fledgling backing band, the Upsetters, as its leader in 1955. Gaines recorded infrequently, but he did played on Richard's "Keep a Knockin'" and "Ooh! My Soul."
The Upsetters carried on after Richard "retired" in 1957. They toured with Dee Clark, Little Willie John, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, and Joe Tex. The band recorded for Vee-Jay Records in 1958 backing Clark. Gaines also led Sam Cooke's backing band until Cooke's death. Several recording sessions followed for Gaines and his band for various labels, including Vee-Jay, Gee and Fire.
Once the Upsetters disbanded, Grady toured with Millie Jackson and Curtis Mayfield. He stopped playing in 1980 but re-emerged in 1985, re-forming a band, the Texas Upsetters, and playing concerts in Houston before recording Full Gain (1988), Horn of Plenty (1992), and Jump Start (2002).
Gaines performed in 1989 and 1996 at the Long Beach Blues Festival. As of January 2013, he continues to perform with the Texas Upsetters for private parties and wedding receptions and for public events, such as the Big Easy Social & Pleasure Club in Houston's Rice Village neighborhood.