Louisiana Red - A Brief History of a Blues Legend
Louisiana Red has over 40 records under his own name, appears on numerous compilations and as a sideman on at least a dozen more recordings.
Louisiana Red, born Iverson Minter, far more than just played the blues - in essence, he was the blues.
Born March 23, 1932 Red lost his mother to pneumonia one week after his birth. Five years later his father was lynched and killed by members of the Ku Klux Klan, leaving Red to endure a six-year period of rotating orphanages.
At the age of 11, Red - then living with an aunt - began playing the guitar under the instruction of Crit Walters.
While his early playing style mimicked that of Muddy Waters (who would be his mentor) and John Lee Hooker (who he would play extensively with), he went on to develop an instinctive and creative style all his own.
Not recorded under the name Louisiana Red until 1960, he had worked with a number of a labels under various aliases. This, and having played with every major bluesman of his time, earned him a reputation for being "over-recorded" and - more fittingly - a "guitar fiend."
In 1976 Red moved to Germany and began avidly touring and recording throughout Europe.
In 1983 he received the W.C. Handy award for best traditional blues artists and in 1984 married his (second and) beloved wife, Dora.
More than twenty years after his departure from the United States, Red returned in 1997 for the first of several successful comeback tours.
Louisiana Red was one of the last of his craft to have learned from and played with the fathers and grandfathers of the blues.
He helped set the foundation for the genre during its formative years and kept the all-but-lost tradition of Delta Blues' spontaneous composition alive and well until his passing February 25, 2012.