Roosevelt Sykes Vinyl Records Lps For Sale

Check out these new and used Roosevelt Sykes vinyl records LPs for sale. We recommend starting your Roosevelt Sykes vinyl collection with the essential albums From Willie Kelly To The Honeydripper, Chicago Blues 1970 France 1971 and Music Is My Business. Our inventory is always changing, so check back often, or browse our list of vinyl records for sale from blues musicians.

Roosevelt Sykes Vinyl Records Lps For Sale

In the annals of blues and boogie woogie piano, few names resonate with as much vibrancy and influence as Roosevelt Sykes. Born on January 31, 1906, in Elmar, Arkansas, and leaving an indelible mark on the blues landscape until his passing on July 17, 1983, Sykes was a prolific pianist, singer, and composer. This article delves into the life, music, and enduring legacy of the man often referred to as “The Honeydripper.”

Early Years and Musical Beginnings:

Roosevelt Sykes was introduced to the world of music at a young age, growing up in the fertile grounds of the Mississippi Delta. Influenced by the rich musical traditions of the region, he developed an early affinity for the piano. As a teenager, Sykes honed his skills in the barrelhouses and juke joints that dotted the Delta landscape.

By the 1920s, he had established himself as a traveling musician, crisscrossing the South and gaining invaluable experience that would shape his distinctive style. Sykes absorbed the various musical influences he encountered, blending traditional blues, ragtime, and boogie woogie into a unique concoction that would define his illustrious career.

The Boogie Woogie Sensation:

The 1930s marked a pivotal period for Roosevelt Sykes as he made his way to St. Louis and then to Chicago. It was during this time that he earned the moniker “The Honeydripper,” a name that not only stuck with him throughout his career but also reflected the sweet, infectious quality of his music.

Sykes’s mastery of boogie woogie piano, a style characterized by a driving, upbeat rhythm, syncopated melodies, and intricate left-hand patterns, solidified his reputation as a trailblazer in the genre. His fingers danced across the keys, creating a dynamic, foot-stomping sound that became synonymous with the boogie woogie movement.

Prolific Recording Career:

Roosevelt Sykes’ recording career spanned several decades, beginning in the 1920s and continuing well into the 1970s. His early recordings in the 1920s showcased his virtuosity on the piano and his soulful vocals. Classics like “44 Blues” and “Driving Wheel Blues” demonstrated Sykes’s ability to craft enduring songs with timeless appeal.

As the blues evolved, so did Sykes’s music. His recordings in the 1940s and 1950s reflected the changing landscape of blues and R&B, incorporating elements of jump blues and early rock and roll. Songs like “Night Time Is the Right Time” and “Sunny Road” highlighted his adaptability and enduring relevance in the ever-shifting currents of popular music.

Boogie Woogie Ambassador:

Roosevelt Sykes became more than just a performer; he emerged as an ambassador for boogie woogie, introducing the infectious piano style to audiences worldwide. His charismatic stage presence, coupled with his dynamic piano playing and soulful vocals, made him a sought-after live performer.

Throughout his career, Sykes crisscrossed the United States, captivating audiences with his electrifying performances. From intimate clubs to grand concert halls, he brought the energy and excitement of boogie woogie to diverse audiences, earning acclaim not only as a musician but as an entertainer who could ignite a room with his music.

Influence on Future Generations:

Roosevelt Sykes left an indelible imprint on the blues, and his influence extended far beyond his own era. His dynamic piano style and charismatic stage presence influenced a generation of musicians who would go on to shape the course of blues and rock.

Pianists like Johnnie Johnson, the longtime collaborator of Chuck Berry, acknowledged Sykes’s impact on their own playing. The rollicking piano introductions and energetic rhythms that defined early rock and roll owed a debt to the boogie woogie tradition that Sykes helped propel into the mainstream.

Songwriting and Lyricism:

Beyond his prowess as a pianist, Roosevelt Sykes was a gifted lyricist and songwriter. His songs often explored themes of love, heartbreak, and the complexities of human relationships. In “44 Blues,” he laments lost love with a poignancy that resonates across generations. The lyrics of his songs offered a glimpse into the human condition, delivered with a sincerity that made his music relatable and enduring.

Sykes’s ability to infuse his songs with emotion, whether through soulful crooning or spirited piano playing, showcased the depth of his artistry. His compositions became standards within the blues repertoire, covered by numerous artists who sought to capture the essence of Sykes’s distinctive style.

Later Years and Resurgence:

As the blues experienced a resurgence in popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, Roosevelt Sykes found himself rediscovered by a new generation of listeners. His performances at various blues festivals and venues reintroduced him to audiences eager to connect with the roots of the genre.

During this period, Sykes continued to record and tour, sharing his wealth of musical experience with younger musicians. His enduring passion for the music and the joy he derived from performing remained undiminished, a testament to the timeless quality of his art.

Legacy and Recognition:

Roosevelt Sykes’s contributions to blues and boogie woogie did not go unnoticed. In 1980, he received the W.C. Handy Award (now known as the Blues Music Award) for Best Blues Album for his record “The Honeydripper.” This recognition underscored his enduring impact and the appreciation for his contributions to the blues genre.

Sykes’s legacy also lives on through the countless recordings that continue to be celebrated by blues enthusiasts. Whether revisiting his early classics or exploring the later chapters of his career, listeners are treated to the musical journey of a maestro who traversed the ever-changing landscape of blues with unwavering authenticity.


Roosevelt Sykes, “The Honeydripper,” left an indelible mark on the blues, shaping the course of the genre with his infectious boogie woogie piano and soulful vocals. His dynamic performances, prolific recording career, and enduring influence on subsequent generations of musicians solidify his place as a luminary in the blues pantheon.

Sykes’s ability to navigate the evolving currents of the blues landscape showcased not only his technical prowess but also his adaptability and enduring passion for the music. His legacy lives on not just in recordings but in the joyous spirit of boogie woogie that continues to echo in the works of musicians inspired by his groundbreaking contributions.

In the grand tapestry of blues history, Roosevelt Sykes stands as a key figure, a maestro whose fingers danced across the keys, leaving behind a musical legacy that remains as vibrant and captivating as ever.

Roosevelt Sykes on DEC 7411

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V/A Rurual Blues: Down Home Stomp IMPERIAL LP VG+ gatefold Roosevelt Sykes

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Roosevelt Sykes - Sings The Blues


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