Sammy Price

Samuel Blythe Price (October 6, 1908 – April 14, 1992) was an American jazz, boogie-woogie and jump blues pianist and bandleader. Price’s playing is dark, mellow, and relaxed rather than percussive, and he was a specialist at creating the appropriate mood and swing for blues and rhythm and blues recordings.

Price was born in Honey Grove, Texas, United States. Price formally studied the piano with Booker T. Washington‘s daughter, Portia Marshall Washington (1883–1978). In the mid-1920s, when he was employed in a Dallas music store, Price wrote to Paramount Records recommending Blind Lemon Jefferson to the label.

During his early career, he was a singer and dancer in local venues in the Dallas area. Price lived and played jazz in Kansas City, Chicago and Detroit. In 1938 he was hired by Decca Records as a session sideman on piano, assisting singers such as Trixie Smith and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Price’s trio accompanied Rosetta Tharpe and Marie Knight on many of their gospel recordings such as “Up Above My Head” and “Two Little Fishes and Five Loaves of Bread.”

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