b. 21 September 1948, Chicago, Illinois, USA, d. 26 August 1992, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Lusk’s parents were both ministers in the Pentecostal Church and ran The Lusk Bible Way Center on Chicago’s South Side. When he was old enough, his mother delegated the piano-playing duties to her son. Lusk was also tempted by the blues sounds emanating from Pepper’s Lounge nearby and spent his teenage years struggling against their influence. He was ordained in the Pentecostal faith in 1968 but found the temptation of the blues too strong. He became music director at the Shiloh Academy, thus inspiring the nickname given to him by Professor Longhair. He worked with Luther Allison for three years and throughout the 80s recorded with artists such as Fenton Robinson, Syl Johnson, Koko Taylor, Buddy Guy and Michael Coleman, and toured with Jimmy Dawkins, Phil Guy and Otis Rush. He formed his own band, the Professor’s Blues Review with vocalist Gloria Hardiman, and recorded ‘Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On’ for the 1987 anthology The New Bluebloods. On his only solo album, Professor Strut, Hardiman was replaced by Karen Carroll. He continued to be in demand for sessions, some of which remain unissued. He and his band appeared in the 1991 film V. I. Warshawski, and later in the year toured Europe with Coleman and Kenny Neal. In the summer of 1992, Lusk was diagnosed with colon cancer, brought on by AIDS. In desperation, he took his own life by jumping into the Chicago River.
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