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Fred Ford
Fred Ford
November 26, 1999
Age 69
 
Cancer 
 
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  MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Saxophonist Fred Ford, a versatile jazz and rhythm 
and blues musician who recorded with B.B. King and Jerry Lee Lewis, died 
Friday after a battle with cancer. He was 69. 

Ford, a mainstay of the Memphis music scene, was known for his baritone sax 
skills. He played on hundreds of sessions, including recordings with Rufus 
Thomas, Lightnin' Hopkins, Charlie Rich and Junior Parker. 

Ford started playing professionally with the Douglass Swingsters Orchestra 
and the Andrew Chaplin Band in the late 1940s, before graduating from high 
school. 

His most famous recording - the 1952 classic ``Hound Dog'' by Big Mama 
Thornton - had him barking instead of playing sax. 

``It's basically drums and guitar and a little bass,'' said producer Jim 
Dickinson. ``And the horn players were all sitting around because they had 
been called for the session. And they barked at the end like dogs!'' 
 

    
        Fred Ford, Versatile Veteran Saxophonist, Dies At 69
                     Saxophonist Fred Ford, whose career spanned recordings
                     from a diverse set of artists that includes Little Richard,
                     Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and Alex Chilton, died Friday
                     (Nov. 26) in Memphis, Tenn., after a battle with cancer. He
                     was 69. 

                     Ford began his professional career in the late 1940s with
                     such groups as the Douglass Swingsters Orchestra and the
                     Andrew Chaplin Band, and would later be featured on Brown's
                     historic recordings for the Peacock label, as well as on Jerry
                     Lee Lewis' Sun Records sessions and Rufus Thomas' popular
                     Funky Chicken album. 

                     A blues/jazz/R&B fixture among Memphis musicians, Ford
                     played baritone sax -- only occasionally alto or tenor -- for a
                     wide variety of artists. He recorded with blues and soul
                     legends B.B. King, Lightnin' Hopkins, Junior Parker, Esther
                     Phillips and Big Mama Thornton. (On Thornton's original
                     version of "Hound Dog," Ford is heard in the background,
                     although he's making barking noises rather than blowing his
                     sax.) 

                     In the '90s, Ford appeared on a series of albums with
                     singer-songwriter and fellow Memphian Chilton that included
                     Feudalist Tarts, Man Called Destruction and High Priest

                                                          -- Drew Wheeler

 
 

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Discography
AMG
1948     Brown, Clarence "Gatemouth"         Original Peacock Recordings                        Sax (Baritone)  
 1948     Brown, Clarence "Gatemouth"      San Antonio Ballbuster [Drive]                          Saxophone, Sax (Baritone)  
 1969     Thomas, Rufus                        Funky Chicken                                                     Saxophone  
 1983     King, B.B.                              Blues 'n' Jazz                                                         Saxophone  
 1989     Lewis, Jerry Lee                     Classic                                                                   Horn  
 1989     Little Richard                           Formative Years 1951-53                                        Sax (Baritone)  
 1990     Hopkins, Lightnin'                  Texas Blues                                                              Sax (Baritone)  
 1991     Chilton, Alex                            19 Years: A Collection                                              Sax (Baritone)  
 1991     Ride, Daddy, Ride...               Ride, Daddy, Ride and Other Songs o                           Sax (Baritone)  
 1992     Rich, Charlie                          Pictures and Paintings                                                 Sax (Baritone)  
 1992     King, B.B.                                 King of the Blues [Box]                                            Saxophone  
 1992     Blues Masters, Vol. 3:           Blues Masters, Vol. 3: Texas Blues                                 Sax (Baritone)  
 1992     Blues Masters, Vol. 5:           Blues Masters, Vol. 5: Jump Blues C                                Sax (Tenor)  
 1992     Best of Duke-Peacock Bl     Best of Duke-Peacock Blues                                          Saxophone, Sax (Baritone)  
 1992     Thornton, Big Mama             Hound Dog: The Peacock Recordings                                Sax (Baritone)  
 1994     Chilton, Alex                          Feudalist Tarts/No Sex                                                    Sax (Baritone)  
 1994     Chilton, Alex                          High Priest/Black List                                                      Sax (Baritone)  
 1995     Chilton, Alex                          Man Called Destruction                                                 Sax (Baritone)  
 1995     Blues Masters, Vols. 1-         Blues Masters, Vols. 1-5                                                     Sax (Baritone)  
 1996     Mean Old World:                 Mean Old World: The Blues from 1940                                  Sax (Baritone)  
 1996     Blues Classics                          Blues Classics [MCA]                                                   Sax (Baritone)  
 1996     Mercury R&B Story                 1945- Mercury R&B Story 1945-1955                                 Sax (Baritone)  
 1997     Baker, Lee                               Fresh Oil                                                                        Sax (Alto)  
 1997     Mercury Blues Rhythm St      Mercury Blues Rhythm Story 1945-55:                                Sax (Baritone)  
 1997     Chilton, Alex                             Top 30                                                                         Sax (Baritone)  
 1998     Double Crossing Blues        Double Crossing Blues                                                       Sax (Baritone)  
 1998     Parker, Junior                          I'm So Satisfied                                                            Sax (Tenor)  
 1998     Night Train, Vol. 3: Cl            Night Train, Vol. 3: Classic Railro                                      Sax (Baritone)  
 1999     Jump, Jive & Swing [Rhi       Jump, Jive & Swing                                                            Sax (Baritone)  
              Phillips, Esther                          Bad Baad Girl                                                            Sax (Baritone)  
              Phillips, Esther                          Set Me Free                                                               Sax (Tenor)  
             Owens, Calvin                            That's Your Booty                                                       Sax (Alto) 
 
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