Grady Gaines, Houston saxophonist and recording bandleader for Don Robey,
met Richard Penniman. They recorded together at Duke/Peacock. Richard
Penniman later became Little Richard, and asked Grady to lead the Upsetters.
They recorded many classics such as "Long Tall Sally," "Send Me Some Lovin,"
and "Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On," and Grady appeared in three movies with
Richard. At Little Richard’s retirement, Grady hired Dee Clark as band
vocalist, and continued to tour.
Sam Cooke hired Grady and the Upsetters to be his band. They recorded "Bring
It On Home," "Twisting The Night Away," and many more. After Cooke’s death,
Grady and the Upsetters continued playing at all the great houses such as
The Apollo, and the Paladium, with all the great artists: Diana Ross and the
Supremes, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Bo Didley, Etta James, Jackie Wilson,
and many, many others.
Grady came off the road, and returned home to Houston. He recorded "There Is
Something On Your Mind," and formed the House Rockers, who performed in
Houston as Don Robey’s house band until Robey’s death.
Disco took its toll on live music in the U.S. Grady toured Europe, and
recorded his first solo album, "Full Gain." In the late ’80s, Grady
performed at Blues Festivals across the nation.
Grady recorded "Down and Dirty, Live At Tipitina’s," and "House Of Plenty."
He toured Europe with Fats Domino; and the Texas Blues Preservation Society
honored Grady with its first annual Blues Heritage Award, citing him as
being a Texas Blues Ambassador Around the World and a Pioneer in the
Creation of Rock & Roll. In 1993, Grady Gaines played at one of President
Clinton’s inaugural parties and was proclaimed Blues Artist Of The Year at
the Juneteenth Festival in Houston.