Cornell Dupree R.I.P.

CORNELL DUPREE, 69, a soul/R&B Atlantic Records session guitarist who played alongside Aretha Franklin, King Curtis, Jimi Hendrix and Joe Cocker, died in Ft. Worth, TX, from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Known as "Uncle Funky" and "Mr. 2500"—a name derived from his involvement in that number of studio sessions—Dupree was a veteran blues musician that detoured into R&B and soul after joining King Curtis and the Kingpins, a band that also featured a young Hendrix. Dupree often played alongside drummer Bernard Purdue and keyboard player Richard Tee. He was a member of Aretha Franklin’s touring band from 1967-’76. That’s his opening riff on “Respect.” Dupree’s also worked with jazz-funk stalwarts Stuff and drummer Steve Gadd. He also cut 10 solo albums, including ‘74’s Teasin’ to an as-yet unreleased album for Dialtone Records. He is survived by wife Erma. Here he is in prime form with Stuff ina 1998 clip. (5/10p)

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