born on 1/12/1942 in Fort Worth, TX, United States
died on 8/5/2011 in Fort Worth, TX, United States
Cornell Luther Dupree (December 19, 1942 – May 8, 2011) was an American jazz and R&B guitarist. He worked at various times with Bill Withers, Donny Hathaway, King Curtis and Steve Gadd, appeared on David Letterman, and wrote a book on soul and blues guitar: Rhythm and Blues Guitar ISBN 0-634-00149-3. He reputedly recorded on 2,500 sessions.
Dupree was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, where he graduated from I.M. Terrell High School. Dupree began his career playing in the Atlantic Records studio band, recording on albums by Aretha Franklin (Aretha Live at Fillmore West) and King Curtis as a member of Curtis's band "The King Pins" (having grown up with King Curtis in Fort Worth). He appeared on the 1969 Lena Horne and Gábor Szabó recording, and on recordings with Archie Shepp, Grover Washington, Jr., Snooky Young and Miles Davis.
He was a founding member of the band Stuff, which featured fellow guitarist Eric Gale, Richard Tee on keyboards, Steve Gadd and Chris Parker on drums, and Gordon Edwards on bass. Dupree and Tee recorded together on many occasions. Notable albums include the aforementioned Aretha and King Curtis records, plus Joe Cocker's Stingray and Luxury You Can Afford, plus Cornell's solo albums Teasin', Saturday Night Fever (instrumental), Shadow Dancing, Can't Get Through, Coast to Coast, Uncle Funky, Child's Play, Bop 'n' Blues, and Unstuffed. He played on Brook Benton's "Rainy Night in Georgia" and "Please Send Me Someone to Love", and is featured on two tracks of Peter Wolf's 1998 album, Fool's Parade. He is also known for playing the opening guitar riff on Aretha Franklin's "Respect".
In later years, Dupree used a Fender "red-knob" Twin Reverb and played a Yamaha signature guitar called the Dupree Super Jam (it used to be a model similar to the SJ-550 HM, but now is closer to a three-pickup Pacifica with a maple neck).
In 2009, Dupree appeared in a documentary entitled Still Bill, which chronicled the life and times of Bill Withers. He appeared on stage playing a guitar-led version of Grandma's Hands. Bill Withers, at first, was sitting in the audience, but ended up joining him on stage to sing the lyrics to the song. In this part of the documentary, Dupree played his guitar on a stool, breathing using an oxygen machine, which foretold his suffering from emphysema.
Dupree died on May 8, 2011 at his home in Fort Worth, Texas. He had been waiting for a lung transplant as a result of suffering from emphysema.
- 1974: Teasin' (Wounded Bird)
- 1977: Saturday Night Fever (instrumental)
- 1979: Shadow Dancing
- 1988: Coast to Coast (Antilles Records)
- 1991: Can't Get Through
- 1992: Uncle Funky (Live)
- 1993: Child's Play
- 1994: Bop 'n' Blues (Kokopelli Records)
- 2011: I'm Alright (Dialtone Records)
With Aretha Franklin
- Aretha Live at Fillmore West (Atlantic, 1971)
With Buddy Rich
- Europa Jazz Buddy Rich Big Band (EJ-1009 Italy, 1981)
With Charles Earland
- The Dynamite Brothers (Prestige, 1973)
With Eddie Harris
- Come on Down (Atlantic, 1970)
- Second Movement (Atlantic, 1971) - with Les McCann
With Gene Harris
- Gene Harris of the Three Sounds (Blue Note, 1972)
With King Curtis
- Live at Fillmore West (Atco, 1971)
With Lena Horne and Gábor Szabó
- Lena & Gabor (Skye, 1969)
With Yusef Lateef
- Hush 'N' Thunder (Atlantic, 1972)
With Arif Mardin
- Journey (Atlantic, 1974)
With Jack McDuff
- A Change Is Gonna Come (Atlantic, 1966)
- Magnetic Feel (Cadet, 1975)
With Bernard Purdie
- Stand By Me (Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get) (Mega, 1971)
- Soul Is... Pretty Purdie (Flying Dutchman, 1972)
With Marlena Shaw
- Marlena (Blue Note, 1972)
- From the Depths of My Soul (Blue Note, 1973)
With Sonny Stitt
- Mr. Bojangles (Cadet, 1973)
With The Nineteenth Whole
With Donny Hathaway
- Live (Donny Hathaway album) (Atlantic, 1972)
With Big Mama Thornton
- The Complete Vanguard Recordings Big Mama Thornton (Vanguard, 2000)
- Peter Keepnews, Cornell Dupree, Guitarist and Sideman to the Stars, Dies at 68, The New York Times, May 14, 2011.
- 2.0 2.1 2.2 Thedeadrockstarsclub.com - accessed May 2011
- 3.0 3.1 Huey, Steve. [Cornell Dupree at All Music Guide Cornell Dupree: Biography]. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-04-09.
- Texas Senate (May 25, 2011). SENATE RESOLUTION NO. 1178 In Memory of Cornell Dupree, Jr.. Retrieved on July 25, 2012.
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years, 1st, London: Reed International Books Ltd. CN 5585.
- Terence McArdle, Cornell Dupree, rhythm-and-blues guitarist, dies at 68, The Washington Post, May 10, 2011.
- obituary in Gibson.com