Roosevelt Sykes, born in 1906, was a consummate entertainer who played in many piano styles of his time including stride, ragtime, and boogie woogie, but he was primarily a blues artist. He was one of the first blues pianists to record, beginning on Okeh records in 1929, and eventually recording on many of the top labels of the time—using several different names to circumvent contractual obligations. His en- during classics include Driving Wheel, 44 Blues, and Night Time is the Right Time. Delmark Records issued ve albums of Sykes’ material, including the acclaimed studio recordings, Feel Like Blowing My Horn and Hard Drivin’ Blues. The good-natured and dapper dresser died of a heart attack in New Orleans in 1983.
Ken Saydak was born in Chicago in 1951 where as a young man he had access to all the great music of the time and to scores of exceptional musicians. When not backing some of Chicago’s biggest blues stars, Saydak performed with his own band, Big Shoulders. He has recorded with Johnny Winter, Mighty Joe Young, Lonnie Brooks, Willie Kent, Tad Robin- son, Zora Young, Lurrie Bell, and many others.
For Delmark, he recorded two of his own CDs, Foolish Man and Love Without Trust. A few years ago, he relocated to Colorado where he now hosts a radio show.