Cornbread Harris

James Samuel "Cornbread" Harris Sr. (born James Samuel Harris Jr.; April 23, 1927) is an American musician. He is a singer and pianist who performs in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[1] He was a performer on Minnesota's first rock 'n' roll record, and is the father of record producer Jimmy Jam.[1]

Cornbread Harris
Cornbread Harris in 2018.jpg
Harris in 2018
Born
James Samuel Harris Jr.

April 23, 1927 (1927-04-23) (age 93)
OccupationMusician
ChildrenJames Harris III
Parent(s)James Samuel Harris Sr.
Alberta Jones Nelson

Family and early yearsEdit

Harris was born James Samuel Harris Jr. on April 23, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of James Samuel Harris Sr. (1893–1930), a gambler, and his wife, Alberta Jones Nelson (1895–1930). When his father was shot while gambling and his mother died of grieving, he was orphaned at age 3. He lived with foster families until he was 11 or 12 when he and his sister went to live with his grandparents in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He has been married four times. One of his daughters died. He is the father of Jimmy Jam (James Harris III) who produced records for Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey and Usher.[1]

Country music was an early influence, and Hank Williams and Gene Autry are among his early favorites.[2]

Later careerEdit

 
Cornbread Harris (center) sings "Deeper Blues" at Minneapolis downtown's National Night Out 2010 with Cadillac Kolstad and Johann Swenson

Harris helped invent Augie Garcia's "Hi Yo Silver," a 1955 song that was Minnesota's first rock 'n' roll recording. He performed on the record, which he called a one-hit wonder[1] (although Garcia is remembered as the godfather of Minnesota rock 'n' roll because of Augie's antics on stage upstaging Elvis Presley.[3]).

Harris was in the U.S. military and later worked for about 25 years for American Hoist & Derrick.[1]

His repertoire includes blues and jazz and in his eighties, Harris still plays Minneapolis nightclubs[4] including the Loring Pasta Bar in Dinkytown, Clubhouse Jäger in the North Loop and Palmer's[5] and the Nomad World Pub on the West Bank.[6]

Harris is a mentor to Cadillac Kolstad and City Pages calls them the "must-see dueling-piano act in town".[5]

AwardsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Riemenschneider, Chris (April 20, 2006). "Past is present for Cornbread Harris". The Star Tribune. Retrieved August 7, 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "August 7: Entertainment". Mill City Farmers Market. Retrieved August 7, 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Keller, Martin (2007). Music Legends: A Rewind on the Minnesota Music Scene. D Media. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-9787956-1-0.
  4. ^ Keller, Martin (2007). Music Legends: A Rewind on the Minnesota Music Scene. D Media. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-9787956-1-0.
  5. ^ a b Patrin, Nate (March 24, 2010). "Cadillac vs. Cornbread". City Pages. Village Voice. Archived from the original on August 4, 2010. Retrieved August 8, 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Calendar". Cornbread Harris. Retrieved August 8, 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame 2012 Press Release". Mnbs.org. Retrieved November 3, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Cornbread Harris Among Sally Award Winners | Ordway News". Ordway.org. June 11, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Cornbread Harris Among Sally Award Winners | Ordway News". Ordway.org. June 11, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Sally Award winner James Samuel "Cornbread" Harris Sr - 22nd Annual Sally Awards". YouTube. June 10, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "The Ordway Announces 2013 Sally Award Winners". Broadwayworld.com. Retrieved November 3, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit