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Bluesman R.L. Burnside dead at 78

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MEMPHIS, Sep 01, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Blues veteran R.L. Burnside died Thursday in a Memphis hospital at age 78.

The cause of death was not given, but Fat Possum Records founder Matthew Johnson told Burnside's "health was declining."

Burnside experienced a late career renaissance after signing with Fat Possum the 1990s, Billboard said.

"He was the first artist we signed, and our biggest," Johnson said. "We were lucky to have a relationship."

The Harmontown, Miss., native started playing blues in his teens and became quite well known in Europe, Billboard said.

He didn't become famous on his own turf, however, until he appeared in Robert Mugge's 1991 documentary "Deep Blues" and on the film's 1992 Atlantic soundtrack album.

He recorded "Bad Luck City" in 1993 and "Too Bad Jim" in 1994 on Fat Possum and worked with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion on Matador's "Ass Pocket of Whiskey." His most recent recording was last year's "A Bothered Mind" on Fat Possum.

Burnside is survived by his wife, Alice Mae, 12 children and numerous grandchildren.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International.

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