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Booker T. Laury

A Memphis native son, Lawrence “Booker T” Laury was born on September 2, 1914. A lifelong friend of Blues giant Peter Chatman, better known as Memphis Slim, the two grew up only blocks from one another. Laury would even at times claim the two were actually cousins. He was first introduced to keyboards at the age of six, stating that he began by assisting his mother playing the family's pump- organ. As Laury and Chatman grew older, the two developed their barrelhouse style with strong influences coming from the music of pianists, Sunnyland Slim, Speckled Red and Roosevelt Sykes, who passed through Memphis regularly. And, along with the younger Mose Vinson, these teenaged pianists began to hold their ground playing the clubs and card rooms of the city in the early 1930s with their hard-pounding boogies.

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