So Long, Eddie Tigner

It is with deep sadness that we relay the news of Eddie Tigner’s passing. The gentle Atlanta-based bluesman had been burdened with increasingly obstinate lung issues and Alzheimer’s disease over the past year, keeping him uncharacteristically sidelined much of that time. He finally succumbed early this morning, having surpassed 92 years on this earth.

Born in Macon in 1926, Eddie took up the piano as a child and began performing after enlisting in the Army in 1945. Following his discharge, he spent a spell playing with an Atlanta group called the Maroon Notes before being recruited to join one of several concurrent touring incarnations of the vocal group the Ink Spots, a job he held for decades until a heart attack forced him to abandon that act’s grueling road schedule.

Settling back in Atlanta, he began to play around town with a group called Chicken Shack, who settled into a regular Thursday night residency at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack for some 20 years. Thursdays won’t be the same at that lively Piedmont Avenue barbecue joint, but friends, bandmates, fellow musicians and fans are invited to come out to Fat Matt’s tonight for a special jam session and celebration of the life and music of “Pops” Tigner from 8 to 11 p.m.

In the meantime, we were lucky enough to have a wonderful conversation with Eddie last year, just prior to his 92nd Birthday celebrations at Fat Matt’s and the Northside Tavern. You can read Bobby Moore’s story here.