Hound Dog Taylor drummer Ted Harvey dies at 85

Ted Harvey, drummer of the legendary Hound Dog Taylor & The HouseRockers, died of natural causes on Thursday, October 6, 2016, in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Harvey was born Dec. 21, 1930. He was 85 years old.

In addition to appearing on all of Taylor’s albums and touring the world with him, Harvey played drums with blues legends Jimmy Dawkins, Big Walter Horton, Barrelhouse Chuck, J. B. Hutto, Jimmy Rogers, Snooky Pryor and many others.

Ted Dawkins
Ted Harvey played with Hound Dog Taylor, J.B. Hutto, Jimmy Rogers, Snooky Pryor and Big Walter Horton.

Rolling Stone described The HouseRockers’ sound as “live wire exuberance and hard-as-nails force…natural for partying, drinking and talking loud.”

Following is a remembrance from Alligator Records president Bruce Iglauer, who launched the label when he first recorded Hound Dog Taylor & The HouseRockers in 1971.

“Ted Harvey, the terrific drummer who was one third of the happiest blues band in Chicago — Hound Dog Taylor & The HouseRockers —died on Oct. 6 at the age of 85,” Iglauer said.

“Besides being one of the best Chicago blues shuffle drummers ever, Ted was a jovial, friendly man with a nice word and a smile for everyone. He never looked for credit for himself; he just wanted to make the band sound good. And he sure did … just listen to “Give Me Back My Wig,” with Ted picking up the tempo as the song goes along, bringing an extra dose of energy to each verse. He was never fancy, he just drove every song by putting every beat perfectly in the pocket. That was the genius of Ted Harvey.”

Harvey is survived by his children, Regina Harding, Cheryl Sims, Milton Harvey, Theodore Harvey, Jr., Leanise Harvey, Anthony Harvey; 12 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.

Services for Harvey are on Friday, Oct. 14 at Gatling’s Chapel, 10133 S. Halsted, Chicago, with the wake from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. and the funeral immediately following.

-Marc Lipkin, Alligator Records

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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