Teddy Humphries

"What Makes You So Tough?" was the musical question asked by Teddy Humphries on an obscure 1959 single. The answer might be: coming from a musical family. Humphries, a pianist and singer, descends from a Pittsburgh brood who included, in order of how high their respective discographical piles are, drumming cousin Roger Humphries and a pair of horn-playing uncles, Frank Humphries and Hildred Humphries. All plus a few more scattered Humphries have been members of the Humphries Brothers Band, a Pittsburgh family band institution. On his own, Teddy Humphries is credited by discographer Tom Lord as having shown up on four recording sessions between 1958 and 1962. One of these was the aforementioned song, coupled with a number entitled "Guitar Pickin' Fool" for a release on the King label. While drummer Roger Humphries worked with Ray Charles and His Band for years, the Teddy Humphries single represents one of the family's main forays outside the realm of jazz, though whether this new type of music was rhythm and blues, rock and roll, or rockabilly was not a decision that had been made in 1959. The King single has remained available through collectors, and seems to be a popular choice for inclusion on various compilations. ~ Eugene Chadbourne

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