J. Blackfoot

John Colbert – born November 20, 1946 in Greenville, Mississippi – was a soul music vocalist best known by his stage name J. Blackfoot. While he had a moderately successful solo career, he is remembered for his work as a member of The Soul Children. Born in Greenville, Mississippi, his family moved to Memphis, Tennessee. By 1965, he was incarcerated at the Tennessee State Penitentiary in Nashville. There, he met Johnny Bragg, the founder of The Prisonaires, a vocal group formed in prison. Inspired by what he learned from Bragg, Blackfoot recorded a single under his real name. Moving back to Memphis, he joined a street-corner doo wop group. Stax Records’ David Porter heard his voice and took notice. When soul vocalist Otis Redding and members of The Bar-Keys were killed in a plane crash in December 1967, Blackfoot was recruited as the new singer for a reconstituted version of The Bar-Kays. The union did not last for long, but Blackfoot was picked by Porter and Isaac Hayes as a member of The Soul Children a new vocal band that they were putting together. For the next decade, the group released seven albums and had 15 singles enter the R&B charts. When The Soul Children split up in 1979, Blackfoot pursued a solo career. He released his debut solo album City Slicker, in 1983. The album included the single “Taxi”, which reached Number 4 on Billboard’s R&B Chart and Number 90 on the Hot 100. He continued to release a series of albums including Physical Attraction (1984), Loveaholic (1991), Reality (1995), Having an Affair (1999), and Woof Woof Meow (2009). John ‘J. Blackfoot’ Colbert died on November 30, 2011.

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