King of the Swamp Blues dies at 84
"Blues is my life. I'm not saying it's right. I'm not saying it's wrong - c'est la vie." - these are words of Ernest Thomas, better known as Tabby Thomas or Rockin' Tabby Thomas.
As a real Bluesman, Thomas dedicated his whole life to Blues music, first as a vocalist after beating Etta James and Johnny Mahtis in a talent contest, then as a guitarist, composer, radio deejay, and finally, a club owner. His club, Tabby’s Blues Box and Heritage Hall in 1979 on North Boulevard in Baton Rouge, LA was opened in 1979 and served as a national attraction for all Blues lovers for nearly 25 years.
As a recording artist, Thomas recorded for various labels including Excello, Maison de Soul, Flyright, and his own, Blue Beat. Among his notable works are "Hoodoo Party" and "Long Live The King Of The Swamp Blues."
Thomas was married to Jocelyn Johnson Thomas for over 50 years. Joselyn passed away in 2005.
The couple had eight children and 20 grandchildren. His son Chris Thomas King is a Grammy-winning musician known for his fusion of rap and blues.