By Steve Sharp
CHICAGO Drummer Robert "Huckleberry Hound" Wright died March 18, 2001, from cardiac arrest in Chicago. He was three days away from his 64th birthday.
"Huck," as he was called by friends, was known for his laid-back personality and his substantial collection of crazy hats. He could be seen onstage wearing anything from a big, floppy "hippie" hat, to a gigantic, yet distinguished Russian-style fur hat. He was described by his close friend and confidant, Katie Moore wife of pianist Aaron Moore as "...a nice, kind guy who was like family to me."
Wright was the drummer on Aaron Moore's debut Delmark Records CD, "Hello World." Moore, himself, called Wright one of the best drummers with whom he had ever played.
"I'd rather have Huck than anybody," Moore said. "He had that shuffle, and that's hard to find."
Wright was born March 21, 1937, in Greenwood, Miss. He grew up in Memphis and moved to Chicago in 1959.
Wright performed with many greats, including Magic Sam, Bo Diddley, Eddie C. Campbell and Brewer Phillips. He can be heard backing Sam at the famous Ann Arbor Blues Festival in the 1960s on Delmark Records. He was Campbell's drummer on the Blind Pig CD "That's When I Know." Wright also recorded on many other sessions.
In addition to touring with Campbell and Moore, Wright could be found for much of the 1990s backing South Side soul singer Johnny Laws on Friday and Saturday nights at the Cuddle Inn on South Ashland Avenue. One of Wright's last major gigs was supporting Campbell at the 2000 King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Ark.
"He was the master of the double-shuffle," Campbell said. "He was also my friend, and one of the kindest men who ever lived...There will never be another like him."