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Rudy Blue Shoes

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Rudy "Blue Shoes" Wyatt was born J. Rudolph Wyatt in Greenville South Carolina. Rudy was raised in the heart of old Greenville by his parents, Don and Violet Wyatt along with his sister Michelle. It was Rudy’s father that introduced him to Boogie Woogie piano styles placing great emphasis on the development of a strong left hand bass line.By the age of seven, Rudy was playing parade snare with The Junior Military Academy Marching Drum and Bugle Corps in Cookville, TN. While attending JMA, Rudy took his first piano lessons. Upon his return to public schools in Greenville, SC, Rudy took up the ukulele, but it wasn’t long before he was introduced to the Rock & Roll Blues guitar of Chuck Berry, Freddie King, Albert King, Lonnie Mack, Jimmy Hendrix and Johnny Winter. Rudy also loved the rockin’ piano styles of Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis.While studying the guitar, Rudy also took up the Chicago Blues Harp styles of Little Walter and Paul Butterfield. During this period, he was also influenced by the British Blues Rockers Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. All the while, Rudy never let his love for the piano fade. He always wanted to learn to play the old Boogie Woogie styles he heard as a child on the old 78 rpm records his father collected.By the age of 16, Rudy signed his first record contract with producer Major Bill Smith of Forth Worth, TX.

He was making records while still attending Greenville High School. On weekends, he was busy playing the local teen clubs or jamming in a Spartanburg garage with his good friends, Toy and Tommy Caldwell, who later became the nucleus of the Marshall Tucker Band.In 1964, Rudy joined a group of studio musicians called The Snowmen who recorded a song entitled “Sugar Daddy” for the Roulette Record Label. “Sugar Daddy” reached #10 on Atlanta’s Top Forty. Surprisingly, the B-Side: “My Girl Ran Off With the Garbage Man,” became the more popular song over the years. Rudy’s guitar solo is well remembered on this song.

After five 45’s and 2 bands, The Roots and The Wyld, Rudy played The Ghana, a famous black night club in Greenville, SC.By the age of 17, Rudy was performing with the house band of Atlanta’s famous Whiskey A Go Go club where he hung out and performed with various artists such as: Jimmy “Big Boss Man” Reed, John Lee “Boogie Chillun” Hooker (who performed in the Blues Brother’s Movie), and Hank Ballard and The Midnighters (father of the popular dance “the twist” ). Rudy was also offered the job as lead guitarist with the Jerry Lee Lewis band, The Memphis Beats, but was drafted before he could negotiate their tour of Japan.Drafted in 1967, Rudy joined the Navy and became an electrician where he graduated 20 points above his predicted average. After discharge from the Navy, Rudy remained in the San Francisco Bay area for a while before deciding to move to Hollywood, CA, where some of his buddies made jokes about him dying his shoes blue. Hence, Rudy Blue Shoes had arrived.After playing many concerts in and around the Los Angeles area with such acts as: Redbone, Pacific Gas & Electric, Little Feat, Ike & Tina Turner, Black Oak Arkansas, and even an amateur night at Doug Weston’s Troubadour with Jackson Brown, Rudy decided it was time to move home where the living was more down to earth.

By this time, Rudy’s family had grown by two sons, Ryan and Richard Wyatt.After playing guitar with several bands in a tri-state area, Rudy decided to learn and master the art of playing several instruments at his him studio in Travelers Rest, South Carolina. While studying the art of multi-track recording, Rudy got serious about the piano and started learning to play the Boogie Woogie style his father had exposed him to as a child. He was taking private classical piano instruction from Dr. David Gibson at Furman University.In 1980, a friend surprised Rudy by sending his tape to a South Carolina Upstate Contest.

He was excited when he received a phone call from singer, Doug Gray of the Marshall Tucker Band informing him that he’d been selected by a panel of judges from several record labels to perform on the first Carolina Collection Album. The song Rudy recorded was appropriately dubbed “I Found A Do Lolly Lolly Down In Holly Hollywood.” Once Rudy had incorporated his piano into the show, people liked the Boogie so much that he had to keep it up.In 1983, Rudy moved to Charleston, SC where he immediately became a popular fixture in the Market Area. Rudy has given performances for the National Governor’s Convention and the American Bar Association. He has been flown in and out of the country for parties with GE Capitol and performed at private parties for Terry Bradshaw and Mike Ditka in San Diego’s Gas Lamp District, as well as a private party for Joe Montana and his wife, Jennifer. He has performed for statewide events and made the front page of The State newspaper. Rudy is a powerful, high-energy boogie player with a flare for New Orleans jazz and he conveys an authentic feeling for each style. He can capture an audience in a heartbeat.If Rudy is playing anywhere near a street corner, people will stop and stand in line to listen.

Yes, Rudy has been known to cause traffic jams in the Market Area of downtown Charleston.In 1991, Rudy released the single “Mohair Sam” on the Repite Record label which went to #2 on 35 stations from Virginia to Georgia within two weeks. He has opened for The Temptations, as well as his personal friends, Delbert McClinton, Chuck Leavell and The Marshall Tucker Band.Rudy has played on The Arches Boogie Piano Stage of the Queen City Blues Festival with countless boogie icons like Big Joe Duskin. Rudy and Big Joe developed a strong bond through their music. They became fast friends and shared a deep passion for the music they both played. In fact, he played the Grand Finale of the Queen City Blues Festival with Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, Johnnie Johnson. (Johnnie organized the band and played piano on every hit song Chuck Berry made). His last trips took him to Normandy and Paris in France along with Boogie piano wizard, Bob Seeley of Detroit, MI.Rudy has been playing for over 35 years and still loves to light up a crowd. Be sure and catch his magic and keep on Boogie-ing!He was making records while still attending Greenville High School. On weekends, he was busy playing the local teen clubs or jamming in a Spartanburg garage with his good friends, Toy and Tommy Caldwell, who later became the nucleus of the Marshall Tucker Band.In 1964, Rudy joined a group of studio musicians called The Snowmen who recorded a song entitled “Sugar Daddy” for the Roulette Record Label. “Sugar Daddy” reached #10 on Atlanta’s Top Forty. Surprisingly, the B-Side: “My Girl Ran Off With the Garbage Man,” became the more popular song over the years. Rudy’s guitar solo is well remembered on this song. After five 45’s and 2 bands, The Roots and The Wyld, Rudy played The Ghana, a famous black night club in Greenville, SC.By the age of 17, Rudy was performing with the house band of Atlanta’s famous Whiskey A Go Go club where he hung out and performed with various artists such as: Jimmy “Big Boss Man” Reed, John Lee “Boogie Chillun” Hooker (who performed in the Blues Brother’s Movie), and Hank Ballard and The Midnighters (father of the popular dance “the twist” ). Rudy was also offered the job as lead guitarist with the Jerry Lee Lewis band, The Memphis Beats, but was drafted before he could negotiate their tour of Japan.Drafted in 1967, Rudy joined the Navy and became an electrician where he graduated 20 points above his predicted average.

After discharge from the Navy, Rudy remained in the San Francisco Bay area for a while before deciding to move to Hollywood, CA, where some of his buddies made jokes about him dying his shoes blue. Hence, Rudy Blue Shoes had arrived.After playing many concerts in and around the Los Angeles area with such acts as: Redbone, Pacific Gas & Electric, Little Feat, Ike & Tina Turner, Black Oak Arkansas, and even an amateur night at Doug Weston’s Troubadour with Jackson Brown, Rudy decided it was time to move home where the living was more down to earth.

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By this time, Rudy’s family had grown by two sons, Ryan and Richard Wyatt.After playing guitar with several bands in a tri-state area, Rudy decided to learn and master the art of playing several instruments at his him studio in Travelers Rest, South Carolina. While studying the art of multi-track recording, Rudy got serious about the piano and started learning to play the Boogie Woogie style his father had exposed him to as a child. He was taking private classical piano instruction from Dr. David Gibson at Furman University.In 1980, a friend surprised Rudy by sending his tape to a South Carolina Upstate Contest. He was excited when he received a phone call from singer, Doug Gray of the Marshall Tucker Band informing him that he’d been selected by a panel of judges from several record labels to perform on the first Carolina Collection Album. The song Rudy recorded was appropriately dubbed “I Found A Do Lolly Lolly Down In Holly Hollywood.” Once Rudy had incorporated his piano into the show, people liked the Boogie so much that he had to keep it up.In 1983, Rudy moved to Charleston, SC where he immediately became a popular fixture in the Market Area. Rudy has given performances for the National Governor’s Convention and the American Bar Association. He has been flown in and out of the country for parties with GE Capitol and performed at private parties for Terry Bradshaw and Mike Ditka in San Diego’s Gas Lamp District, as well as a private party for Joe Montana and his wife, Jennifer. He has performed for statewide events and made the front page of The State newspaper. Rudy is a powerful, high-energy boogie player with a flare for New Orleans jazz and he conveys an authentic feeling for each style. He can capture an audience in a heartbeat.If Rudy is playing anywhere near a street corner, people will stop and stand in line to listen. Yes, Rudy has been known to cause traffic jams in the Market Area of downtown Charleston.In 1991, Rudy released the single “Mohair Sam” on the Repite Record label which went to #2 on 35 stations from Virginia to Georgia within two weeks. He has opened for The Temptations, as well as his personal friends, Delbert McClinton, Chuck Leavell and The Marshall Tucker Band.Rudy has played on The Arches Boogie Piano Stage of the Queen City Blues Festival with countless boogie icons like Big Joe Duskin. Rudy and Big Joe developed a strong bond through their music. They became fast friends and shared a deep passion for the music they both played. In fact, he played the Grand Finale of the Queen City Blues Festival with Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, Johnnie Johnson. (Johnnie organized the band and played piano on every hit song Chuck Berry made). His last trips took him to Normandy and Paris in France along with Boogie piano wizard, Bob Seeley of Detroit, MI.Rudy has been playing for over 35 years and still loves to light up a crowd. Be sure and catch his magic and keep on Boogie-ing!

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