Jack Rowell Jr. who is known for his “The Thrill at the Grill” is now taking the Thrill to Beale to honor his friend and fellow musician Tony Black or “Tony B” as he was known by his friends. Memphis music’s largest gathering of it’s musicians ever will be at the Tony Black Memorial Scholarship Bash this Tuesday April 24 at the New Daisy Theater on Beale. Showtime is 6pm and tickets are a $10 donation.
Tony Black was an accomplished keyboardist, as well as a talented composer, arranger, producer, and MIDI-programmer. He is versed in the musical genres of Jazz, Blues, R&B, Gospel, Hip Hop, Pop, Rock, Reggae and Country.
Tony passed away last year. When he was alive he put a young, gifted under privileged child through the Stax Music Academy every year. Jack Rowell Jr. said “We would like to see that continue in Tony’s name.” He went on say “Tony was my best friend, in all the years I knew him I never heard him say a bad word about anyone. In fact if someone else was starting to get negative about someone Tony would stop them in mid-sentence and point out something positive that person had done. He loved everyone and everyone loved him.”
Tony Black recorded with Isaac Hayes, the Bar-Kays, Jonny Lang, Denise Lasalle, Millie Jackson and Billy Lee Riley. He has also performed live with B.B. King, Jimi Jamison (Survivor), Bobby Kimball (Toto), Boz Scaggs, Michael McDonald, Johnny Rivers, Billy Preston, Steven Seagal, Dennis DeYoung, J. Blackfoot as well as legendary STAX artists Rufus Thomas, Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave), Mavis Staples and William Bell. He was a recording artist with both the Motown and RCA record labels with the groups The Right Choice and The Main Attraction respectively. He also did a long stint as keyboardist for songwriter/producer Kevin Paige.
Tony was also the keyboard player for Jack Rowell Jr. and TriplThreT. When they were playing at the East End Grill it was Tony who coined the phrase “The Thrill at the Grill” when TriplThreT started allowing Memphis musicians to jam with them.
Some of the musicians performing on Tuesday March 24th will be Jack Rowell Jr. and TriplThreT, Jimi Jamison, Roy Howell, Pat & Suzanne Taylor, JoJo Jefferies, Papa Don McMinn, Vicki Loveland, Hermann Green, Jack Holder, Eric Hughes, Lou Nesta, Eddie Harrison and the Shortcuts, Debbie Jamison, The Memphis Allstars and Blind Mississippi Morris.
If you would like to make a donation but won’t be able to attend the show please make checks out to Soulsville Foundation and include Tony Black Scholarship Fund in the memo. The amount should be $10 or more if possible. Mail your check to 8473 Sitting Bull Cove Hernando, MS 38632