Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b Rufus G. Perryman, 23 Oct. 1892, Monroe LA; d 2 Jan. '73, St Louis MO) Blues singer, pianist; also played organ; aka 'Detroit Red'. One of 16 children; brother William was Piano Red; they got nicknames from complexion (they were both albinos). Lived in Detroit as a child, back to Hampton GA; played organ in church at time of WWI, lived in Atlanta early '20s; back to Detroit and worked outside music, also rent parties etc mid-'20s. Hoboed through South, often working with guitarist/singer Jim Jackson (c1890-- 1937); recorded ten sides for Brunswick '29--30, two unissued; ten more on Bluebird '38. Settled in St Louis '41; played at World's Fair Bar there, recorded for Tone/Delmark labels mid- '50s; toured Europe late '50s, recorded in Copenhagen '61. 'The Dirty Dozens' '29 in his barrelhouse lumber-camp style adapted a mnemonic song for teaching biblical stories to young people into an erotic vehicle for insult; though cleaned up on early records it was said to give currency to the word 'motherfucker', the twelfth category of abuse. Recorded 'The Dirty Dozens No. 2' '30. Albums: 1929--1938 on Wolf USA, Speckled Red In London 1960 on VJM UK, The Dirty Dozen '61 on Storyville; Dirty Dozens on Delmark.