About Cornell Dupree
In 1961, Cornell was called to New York to play with King Curtis and The Kingpins (Jimi Hendrix was briefly in the band with him). What a great day for American roots history. Soon after Cornell was in demand as a session player; his work graced innumerable recordings by artists including Aretha Franklin, Joe Cocker, Paul Simon, Bonnie Raitt, Ringo Starr, Wilson Pickett, Lena Horne, Miles Davis, Bill Withers, Donny Hathaway and so many more. It is estimated that Cornell was involved in over 2500 sessions during his career.
Cornell’s guitar helped saxophonist King Curtis serenade on “Soul Serenade” (1964), put the respect in Aretha Franklin’s song “Respect” (1967), and played the memorable licks on Brook Benton’s “Rainy Night in Georgia” (1970).
After the success of Aretha Franklin’s “Respect,” Cornell often found himself in the studio 10 hours a day, six days a week playing in the Atlantic Records studio band. “One man playing rhythm and lead at the same time took the place of three guitar players,” Atlantic Records producer, Jerry Wexler.
Cornell was a member of Aretha Franklin’s band from 1967 until 1976. He was a founding member of the band Stuff, which featured fellow guitarist Eric Gale, Richard Tee on keyboards, Steve Gadd and Chris Parker on drums, and Gordon Edwards on bass.
In later years, Cornell performed with the Soul Survivors, a group of rotating jazz players including pianist Les McCann, organist Lonnie Smith and bassist Chuck Rainey.