Robert Covington

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Robert Covington, born in Yazoo City, MS, on December 13, 1941, grew up taking music and voice lessons. Active as a teenager in drum and bugle corps, Covington played in a number of bands, including Little…
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Robert Covington, born in Yazoo City, MS, on December 13, 1941, grew up taking music and voice lessons. Active as a teenager in drum and bugle corps, Covington played in a number of bands, including Little Melvin and the Downbeats. About to go to college (what became Alcorn State University in Lorman, MS), he chose instead to join Big Joe Turner's group when that player passed through town looking for a drummer. Turner's stage presence and vocal technique became a major inspiration and mentor for him, and they toured the South all that summer and fall.

In 1962, Covington had some small success with the Lee Covington Review and his single, "I Know." His group had a horn section, female backup signers, and backed groups like Ernie K-Doe and Ted Taylor.

Covington moved to Chicago in 1965 and played with Little Walter, Buddy Guy, Fenton Robinson, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, and Lonnie "Guitar Junior" Brooks. He sat in with Sunnyland Slim at the Flying Fox and they began to work together on a regular basis. In 1983 he became a full-time member of the Sunnyland Slim Band. As Slim's frequency of performing declined (in his later years), Covington fronted his own band and established his own reputation. He was a hot act at Kingston Mines in Chicago, where he served as the swing singer; he even headlined one night a week. Covington's smooth delivery and big-band style voice has earned him the nickname, "golden voice." Robert Covington died on January 17, 1996, in Chicago.