Al Downing Dies

Big Al Downing, 65, died in Massachusetts July 4th after suffering from leukemia.

Downing, a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, began his career as a piano player for Wanda Jackson, and can be heard on her biggest hit, “Let’s Have A Party.”

His songs, which varied from R&B to country, have been recorded by Fats Domino, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Tom Jones and Webb Wilder, and he even charted a disco song in 1975.

Downing was one of country music’s few successful African-American artists; he performed “Mr. Jones” at the Grand Ole Opry House in May.