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Tampa Red Facts

The Life, Career, and Legacy of Tampa Red: A Blues Legend’s Story


Tampa Red, born as Hudson Whittaker on January 8, 1904, was one of the most influential figures in the blues music industry during his time. Known for his exceptional guitar skills and innovative style, Tampa Red was a prolific songwriter and musician whose work continues to inspire artists even years after his death in 1981.

Singer’s Bio

Tampa Red was born in Smithville, Georgia, to Charles Whittaker and Elizabeth Sadler. In his youth, he began playing the guitar and honing his craft in Atlanta, Georgia, where he moved with his mother. He would eventually move to Chicago, where he made his home and began a career that would leave an indelible mark on the blues music scene.


Tampa Red was born on January 8, 1904, which would make him 117 years old if he were alive today.

Relationships and Children

Tampa Red was married and had two children, but little is known about his personal life beyond that.


There is no reliable information available about Tampa Red’s height.


Tampa Red began his career in the 1920s, where he played as a sideman for artists like Ma Rainey and Georgia Tom. He would go on to form his own band and release dozens of records, several of which became hits. He was known for his smooth vocals and his innovative slide guitar technique, which influenced countless musicians.

Top Songs

Tampa Red released numerous hits during his career, including “Anna Lou Blues,” “Tight Like That,” “It’s Tight Like That,” and “Let Me Play with Your Poodle.”

Net Worth

There is no accurate information available about Tampa Red’s net worth at the time of his death, but his legacy in the blues music industry continues to resonate decades later.

8-15 FAQs

1. Who were Tampa Red’s biggest musical influences?

Tampa Red drew inspiration from a wide range of musical genres and artists, but he was particularly inspired by blues legends like Blind Lemon Jefferson and Blind Blake. He would often incorporate elements of ragtime and jazz into his music, creating a unique sound that set him apart from his peers.

2. What made Tampa Red’s guitar technique so innovative?

Tampa Red’s slide guitar technique was groundbreaking because he utilized what was known as the “Hawaiian” tuning, which was not commonly used in blues music at the time. This allowed him to create a distinctive sound that was unlike anything else in the industry.

3. What was Tampa Red’s most successful record?

Tampa Red’s most successful record was “It’s Tight Like That,” which was released in 1928 and became a massive hit. The song spent 10 weeks at the top of the Billboard charts and is considered one of the seminal recordings of the blues genre.

4. How did Tampa Red influence other musicians?

Tampa Red’s innovative style and virtuosic guitar playing inspired countless musicians in the blues and beyond. He was particularly influential in the development of Chicago blues, and artists like Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters cited him as a major influence on their music.

5. Why did Tampa Red switch from acoustic to electric guitar?

Tampa Red switched to an electric guitar in the 1940s because he found that it gave him more control over his sound and allowed him to experiment with different effects. This transition marked a turning point in his career, and he became even more influential as a result.

6. Was Tampa Red involved in the Civil Rights movement?

Tampa Red did not publicly involve himself in the Civil Rights movement, but his music and lyrics often touched on issues of racial inequality and social justice. His song “Uncle Bud (Dog-Gone Him)” was a commentary on the Scottsboro Boys case, and he was known for addressing political and social issues in his music.

7. What was Tampa Red’s relationship with other blues musicians?

Tampa Red was well-respected by his peers in the blues music industry, and he collaborated with many other influential artists throughout his career. He was particularly close with Big Bill Broonzy, with whom he performed and recorded numerous times.

8. What was Tampa Red’s most memorable live performance?

One of Tampa Red’s most memorable live performances was at the 1966 American Folk Blues Festival in Europe. His set was particularly well-received by the audience, and it showcased his unmatched guitar skills and smooth vocal delivery.

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