Rest In Peace Tomcat Courtney

We are deeply saddened to announce that San Diego music icon Tomcat Courtney has passed away at the age of 91. As a young man growing up in Texas, Tomcat was immersed in the Blues music world of the 1940’s. He befriended and performed with a countless number of music legends, including T-Bone Walker, Lightnin Hopkins, Sonny Boy Williamson, Tampa Red and Muddy Waters. His tales of working the rowdy juke joints of this era were extraordinary. Tomcat overflowed with patience, passion & charm. He was the kind of person who would sit and chat with you for hours. In the 1950’s Courtney performed regularly with the great Smokey Hogg and his brother John. He headed to the west coast in the 1960’s, playing in bands with Little Johnny Taylor, Freddie King & Lowell Fulson. Tomcat first performed at Folk Arts Rare Records just two weeks after his arrival in San Diego in 1971. He and Lou Curtiss became fast friends, and Courtney performed at many of Lou’s festivals & concerts for decades. This began a new chapter in which Tomcat became a San Diego Blues treasure. He had a weekly residency at Ocean Beach’s Texas Teahouse from 1972 to 1992. And he never let his age keep him from performing. He’s be all over town, playing late into the night at spots like the Turquoise Cafe, the Ken Club and Proud Mary’s, which also hosted his very celebratory annual birthday parties, the last one being his 91st Birthday Party on January 23, 2020. Whether the crowds were large or small, Tomcat was always 100% himself and an absolute joy to spend time with. He will be dearly missed by so many, but he lived an extremely rich life. Thank you Tomcat, for being you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *