Robert Blackwell would have turned 100 years old today. Robert was much better …

Written by on May 23, 2018

Robert Blackwell would have turned 100 years old today. Robert was much better known as “Bumps” Blackwell. Bumps kind of did it all, bandleader, songwriter, arranger, and record producer, and was best known for his work overseeing the early hits of Little Richard, as well as grooming Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson, Lloyd Price, Sam Cooke, Herb Alpert, Larry Williams, and Sly and the Family Stone at the start of their music careers.

Bumps led a jazz group in the late 1940s that included pianist Ray Charles and trumpeter Quincy Jones. He moved to Hollywood and took a job at Art Rupe’s Specialty Records as an arranger and producer. He worked with Sam Cooke, Larry Williams, Lloyd Price and Guitar Slim, as well as producing Little Richard during his rise to stardom in 1955 and 1956.

In addition to producing Little Richard’s breakthrough hit “Tutti Frutti” following hearing him sing the song in the studio, Blackwell also produced Little Richard’s other mid-50s hits, co-writing some as them as well, including: “Long Tall Sally”; “Good Golly Miss Molly”; “Ready Teddy”; and “Rip It Up”. He became Richard’s manager and continued to work with him into the 1970s.

He also produced Sam Cooke’s hit “You Send Me”.

In 1981 Blackwell produced some songs for Bob Dylan’s album, Shot of Love, including the title track.

We lost Bumps on Jan. 27, 1966 from pneumonia. He was 66 years old.

Bumps Blackwell was one of the first to have the vision and be able to use it to bring Rock and Roll to the world.

Happy Birthday Bumps. RIP and Thank you for so much.

w/ Kelly Lee Blackwell

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