Duke Draper


Inducted in 1998

Duke Draper, whose real name was Jimmy Staggers, was born April 18, 1918, in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. He grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and then moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he played drums in a gospel group, The Rocky Mountain Boys. He moved to Phoenix in 1956 and became an original member of the "Tads". Draper sang lead on the Tads' single of that year, "The Pink Panther", on the Dot label. His only other recording was "The Goose" b/w "Up and Out", a 1965 release under his own name on the DKR label. A full throated blues shouter with a dynamic stage presence and a flashy wardrobe, Draper still performed occasionally at Phoenix clubs in his later years and maintained an enthusiastic following. he had many unrecorded original songs, including his showstopper, "I'm a Lover" which included the line, "Ask any woman live in my neighborhood/Like Kentucky Fried Chicken, I'm finger looking good." Duke Draper died July 26, 1997 after being hit by a car while crossing the street near his home. He was 79.

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