Joe Lutcher Biography

Brother of Nellie Lutcher, Joe moved from Lake Charles, Louisiana, to California where he played his alto saxophone with the Nat ‘King’ Cole Trio, the Will Mastin Trio and the Mills Brothers. He then signed for Capitol Records in the summer of 1947 (at the same time as Nellie) and had strong sellers with his ‘Strato Cruiser’, ‘No Name Boogie’ and the US Top 10 hit ‘Shuffle Boogie’. Leaving Capitol in 1948, Lutcher’s Jump Band went on to record for Specialty Records, Modern (resulting in a moderate hit with ‘Mardi Gras’ in 1949, which uncovered his Louisiana connections), London, Peacock, and several small obscure independent labels. Meanwhile, Lutcher undertook some session work, before giving up the ‘devil’s music’ and becoming an evangelist in the mid-50s; he is said to be responsible for converting Little Richard from secular to spiritual music in the late 50s.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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