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Mose Allison Biography

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Birth Name: Mose John Allison, Jr.
Born: 1927/11/11
Birth Place: Tallahatchie County, Mississippi
Years Active: 1956–present
Genres: Blues, Jazz Blues

Mose John Allison, Jr. was born November 11, 1927 in Tippo, Mississippi and is a jazz/blues pianist and singer. As a child, Allison played piano and trumpet. He graduated from Louisiana State University in 1952 with a degree in english with a minor in philosophy. Allison then moved to New York City and began his career as a jazz musician.

While in New York, Allison met, and worked with, Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, and Phil Woods. His debut album, “Back Country Suite,” arrived in 1957 on the Prestige record label. 1958 saw Allison form his own trio and but it wasn’t until 1963 that his record label allowed him to release an album entirely of vocals. “Mose Allison Sings,” was a collection of songs that paid tribute to artists of the Mojo Triangle: Sonny Boy Williamson (“Eyesight to the Blind”), Jimmy Rogers (“That's All Right”) and Willie Dixon (“The Seventh Son”). However, it was an original composition in the album that brought him the most attention – “Parchman Farm.” For more than two decades, “Parchman Farm” was his most requested song. He dropped it from his playlist in the 1980s because some critics felt it was politically incorrect.

Allison's music was an influence to a variety of artists, including Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Tom Waits, The Yardbirds, John Mayall, J. J. Cale, The Who, and Georgie Fame. The Clash who covered his song, “Look Here” on their album “Sandinista!” and Leon Russell covered the song “Smashed!,” while Van Morrison released the album, “Tell Me Something: The Songs of Mose Allison.” Elvis Costello recorded “Everybody's Cryin' Mercy” and “Your Mind Is On Vacation.” 2006 saw Allison inducted into the Long Island Music Hall, which he followed up in 2010 with his 42nd studio album, “The Way of the World,” after a 12-year absence from the music world.