Piano Slim

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b. Robert T. Smith, 1 August 1928, La Grange, Texas, USA. Slim began singing and playing saxophone in clubs in the late 40s, but after being shot in the chest he switched to drums, playing behind Lightnin’…
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Artist Biography by

b. Robert T. Smith, 1 August 1928, La Grange, Texas, USA. Slim began singing and playing saxophone in clubs in the late 40s, but after being shot in the chest he switched to drums, playing behind Lightnin’ Hopkins for a spell. He became a pianist when working with a band in Odessa, Texas, and on moving back to Houston, Henry Hayes taught him about music; he also claims to have recorded around this time. Don Robey recommended Slim to Bobbin Records in St. Louis, and they released a single by him in the late 50s. He remains based in St. Louis, and has played in innumerable bars and clubs. In 1981, he recorded his first album, mostly solo, although with guitarist Amos Sandford on some titles, then two years later he made an album with a band that included two horns. Reviewing these two records, both issued by Swingmaster, Living Blues stated: ‘whether you prefer solo piano blues or rocking horn-backed material, Robert T. Smith can deliver the goods’.