Grady Gaines, Houston saxophonist and recording bandleader for
Don Robey, met Richard Penniman. They recorded together at Duke/Peacock.
Richard Penniman later became Little Richard, and asked Grady
to lead the Upsetters. They recorded many classics such as "Long
Tall Sally," "Send Me Some Lovin," and "Whole
Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On," and Grady appeared in
three movies with Richard. At Little Richard’s retirement,
Grady hired Dee Clark as band vocalist, and continued to tour.
Sam Cooke hired
Grady and the Upsetters to be his band. They recorded "Bring
It On Home," "Twisting The Night Away," and many
more. After Cooke’s death, Grady and the Upsetters continued
playing at all the great houses such as The Apollo, and the Paladium,
with all the great artists: Diana Ross and the Supremes, Gladys
Knight and the Pips, Bo Didley, Etta James, Jackie Wilson, and
many, many others.
Grady came off the road, and returned home to Houston. He recorded
"There Is Something On Your Mind," and formed the House
Rockers, who performed in Houston as Don Robey’s house band
until Robey’s death.
Disco took its toll on live music in the U.S. Grady toured Europe,
and recorded his first solo album, "Full Gain." In the
late ’80s, Grady performed at Blues Festivals across the
Grady recorded "Down and Dirty, Live At Tipitina’s,"
and "House Of Plenty." He toured Europe with Fats Domino;
and the Texas Blues Preservation Society honored Grady with its
first annual Blues Heritage Award, citing him as being a Texas
Blues Ambassador Around the World and a Pioneer in the Creation
of Rock & Roll. In 1993, Grady Gaines played at one of President
Clinton’s inaugural parties and was proclaimed Blues Artist
Of The Year at the Juneteenth Festival in Houston.