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Legendary bluesman Pinetop Perkins dead at 97

March 21, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The manager for Pinetop Perkins says the Grammy winner and one of the last old-school bluesmen has died at his home in Austin, Texas. He was 97.

Hugh Southard says Perkins woke up with chest pains and died of cardiac arrest on Monday.

Perkins played piano with an aggressive style and sang with a distinctive gravelly voice.

Perkins accompanied Sonny Boy Williamson on the popular King Biscuit Time radio show broadcast on KFFA in Helena, Ark., in the 1940s. He toured with Ike Turner in the 1950s and joined Muddy Waters' band in 1969.

Perkins won a Grammy in February for best traditional blues album for "Joined at the Hip: Pinetop Perkins & Willie "Big Eyes" Smith." That win made Perkins the oldest Grammy winner.

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