Deloise Searcy

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The pianist Deloise Searcy was based out of St. Louis, where he is credited as playing on a bit less then ten different recording sessions in 1926 and 1927. Undoubtedly, he also performed on other dates…
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The pianist Deloise Searcy was based out of St. Louis, where he is credited as playing on a bit less then ten different recording sessions in 1926 and 1927. Undoubtedly, he also performed on other dates where his accompaniment was uncredited. The earliest tracks of Searcy that blues scholars have found date from the early to mid-'20s, a period when the pianist was one of several musicians following in the trail of the talented Lonnie Johnson and his brother, Buddy Johnson. The former man played at least five instruments, and while Buddy Johnson was mainly a pianist, he was also known to switch instruments, leaving room for Searcy to join in on the keyboards.

Most of the existing recordings of this pianist were the result of field recording trips to St. Louis by the Okeh label. Searcy's own group, credited as the Searcy Trio and featuring cornetist Clifford King and clarinetist Edgar Green, recorded a pair of sides for the label in the spring of 1926. Both the titles and performances of "Kansas Avenue Blues" and "East St. Louis Stomp" indicate that this material was pretty much extemporized on the spot. While the pianist on recordings by Cora Perkins might be either Searcy or his hardy competitor, James Johnson, there is no question of the former man's presence on sessions behind singers Irene Scruggs or Helen Humes. The pianist can also be heard on a handful of reissue collections featuring Lonnie Johnson in various contexts.