Carolyn Gaines was born into the blues as the daughter of the great guitarist-singer Roy Gaines who was superstar Diana Ross and Billie Holiday’s guitarist. In addition, her uncle is saxophonist Grady Gaines who worked with many top names including Diana Ross & The Supreme , Gladys Knight, Little Richard and Sam Cooke. “I was born in Houston, Texas. Early on my father played me Bessie Smith records(Smith’s Biography book) and that was my introduction to learning about the blues. I always sang to records as a child. I loved Natalie Cole’s ‘Mister Melody,’ Peabo Bryson, Billie Holiday and especially Diana Ross. I loved her music, voice, fashion and style. She was always glamorous and classy and I wanted to be like her. I practiced singing along to records over and over. I would wait for my father to go to his gigs around 7 and then from seven till midnight I would listen to records from his collection and practice.”
Throughout much of her life, Carolyn Gaines has been a significant part of the blues world. She has taught a countless number of children about the blues in her Blues Schools programs, written many articles about the blues greats, interviewed late great B.B. King, Guitar Shorty, Eric Johnson, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Cyril Neville, Buddy Guy’s guitarist Ric Hall, Sonny Landreth, Robert Cray, her uncle Grady Gaines, and her father Roy Gaines, produced performances, worked on publicity and radio promotion, dealt with labels and festivals, and been a spokesperson for the ‘Blues’ music on many levels. Now after many experiences, she is emerging as an important new blues singer.
As a youth, Ms. Gaines sang at some of her father’s club dates along with her brother and sister. However singing eventually took a back seat to her work in the blues business. After majoring in theatre arts in college, she managed her father’s career starting in the early 1990s. She booked Roy Gaines at blues festivals and clubs, traveling around the world. She hosted, created and produced Blues cable television about Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Ike Turner, Roy Gaines, Jackson 5’s, Diana Ross and She would always play Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Roy Gaines ,Shemekia Copeland’s CD’s on her radio shows. And she began to teach.
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