- ANDREW 'B.B.'
Odom was born in
Denham Springs, Louisiana in 1934, he moved to St. Louis in
While in St.
Louis he toured with
Albert King and others,
finally moving to Chicago in the early 40’s. He spent
the next ten years traveling and recording as the featured
vocalist with the Earl Hooker Band, an auspicious
beginning as Earl Hooker was considered to be one of
the greatest guitar players of his generation. After Hooker’s
untimely death in 1970, Jimmy Dawkins hired Odom to
tour Europe. It was Dawkins who gave him the name 'Big Voice'.
BB King, along with
were an early influence on Odom.
He traveled and
recorded with Dawkins throughout the seventies while continuing to
build a local reputation in Chicago’s south and west side Blues
clubs. The realities of the music business and the need to support
a wife and seven children prevented him from hiring a band to
pursue his career on a full-time basis. Things seemed to be
changing for Odom in
the 90’s. In
early 90s Odom was approached by Canadians
Steve and Doran Katz
to front their band, The Gold Tops.
BB Odom worked with the band on a few dates in Ontario, which
went extremely well. A year later they were headlining the Toronto Blues Festival, and playing
other summer festivals throughout Ontario. Flying Fish
signed the band in December of ‘91 on the strength of
their demo tape.
Sadly, Odom did not live to see the release of
this recording. In the early morning, on December 23,
he died of a heart attack the wheel of his car. He was on his way
to the Checkerboard Lounge from Buddy Guy’s
where he had sat in earlier that evening which often did in Sunday
evenings after church. BB Odom’s death is a tragic loss to
the Blues community. Throughout his career he had been in demand
as a featured vocalist by top bandleaders like Buddy Guy,
Magic Slim, and Jimmy Dawkins, who themselves
were singers. His resonant voice, replete with Gospel fervor, lent
another dimension to his Blues. He gave his all during a
performance, whether he was paid for it or not. B.B.
brought the healing quality of Gospel music to the Blues. He
reached deep down into your soul and made you feel. MP3-
Feel So Good
Come to Me |