Alexander McBride

Alexander McBride, 1913-1999


Blues pianist Alexander McBride was born in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1913. McBride grew up in a household where gospel music was always in the air. As a young boy, he recalled watching his mother play the piano. When she left, he would rush to the piano, replicating his mother’s technique. Once she heard her son’s talent, she began training and encouraging him to play at their local church. McBride became fond of blues music, which was banned in their home and church. That, however, didn’t stop McBride. He would sneak out of the house and visit local juke joints to experience blues music, and before long, as a young teenager, he was playing local clubs and house parties. As an adult, he traveled around the Southeast, as well as Chicago, playing primarily African American venues, in time, earning his stage name, “Piano Slim.”

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