|Little Arthur Duncan|
February 5, 1934|
Indianola, Mississippi, United States
|Died||August 20, 2008
Northlake, Illinois, United States
|Genres||Chicago blues, electric blues|
|Harmonicist, singer, songwriter|
|Labels||Blues King, Delmark, Random Chance|
Little Arthur Duncan (February 5, 1934 - August 20, 2008) was an American Chicago blues and electric blues harmonica player, singer, and songwriter. He was a member of the Backscratchers and over his career was associated with Earl Hooker, Twist Turner, Illinois Slim and Rick Kreher.
Duncan was born in Indianola, Mississippi. His first instrument was the drums. In 1950, aged 16, he moved to Chicago, Illinois, and became acquainted with Little Walter, who helped him to learn the rudiments of harmonica playing, and Jimmy Reed. He found work playing the harmonica accompanying Earl Hooker, John Brim and Floyd Jones. Billed and henceforth commonly known as Little Arthur Duncan, he played primarily in and around Chicago and built up a local reputation over the years. He performed with his own band in the Backscratcher's Social Club, which he owned. He worked in construction during the 1960s and 1970s, so was limited to playing and singing in the evenings.
In 1989, Duncan recorded the album Bad Reputation, which was released on the Blues King label. He later appeared on a compilation album, Blues Across America: The Chicago Scene, with Emery Williams Jr. and Robert Plunkett. In 1999, Duncan recorded for Delmark Records, which released the album Singin' with the Sun that year. On the album he was accompanied by the guitar player Billy Flynn.Live in Chicago followed in 2000.
His final recording was Live at Rosa's Blues Lounge, a live album recorded in Chicago in August 2007. One music journalist noted that "spirited, gritty performances of Reed's "Pretty Thing," Wolf's "No Place to Go," and two Dixon favorites ("Young Fashioned Ways" and "Little Red Rooster") leave no doubt that Duncan lives and breathes electric Chicago blues." However, a subsequent lengthy illness and hospitalization prevented Duncan from building on this success.
|1989||Bad Reputation||Blues King Records|
|1999||Singin' with the Sun||Delmark Records|
|2000||Live in Chicago||Random Chance Records|
|2007||Live at Rosa's Blues Lounge||Delmark Records|