b. 10 June 1907, Memphis, Tennessee, USA. An early start in music led Little Laura Dukes to a lifetime of involvement with entertainment in Memphis. Her father had been a drummer with W.C. Handy’s band, but it was a less sophisticated idiom that Dukes chose, playing blues with the jug bands for which that city is so well known. She sang and played banjo and ukelele with the Will Batts Novelty Band, and although they made two recordings in the early 50s, these were not issued until 20 years later. She made some more records with the revival of interest in blues and related music in the 70s, and also appeared in a BBC Television series. As late as the 80s, she was still performing in Memphis, at the Blues Alley club, set up to showcase the city’s blues talent.
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