BMI Remembers Huey “Piano” Smith

Posted in News on February 21, 2023

BMI was saddened to learn of the death of storied New Orleans songwriter/producer and rock n’ roll innovator, Huey “Piano” Smith, who passed away on February 13 at his home in Baton Rouge. He was 89.

Best known for rollicking hits like “Don’t You Just Know It,” “High Blood Pressure,” “I’ll Be John Brown,” and his signature song, “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu,” Smith was instrumental in imprinting the sound of New Orleans on early rock n’ roll. He did extensive session work with early rock n’ roll legends like Little Richard, Fats Domino, Lloyd Price, David Bartholomew and many others. With his own ensemble, Huey “Piano” Smith & the Clowns, he hit the top of the charts with “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu,” which became a BMI Award-winning song. Smith found further success as the producer of the single, “Sea Cruise,” which featured vocals by Frankie Ford. The song was later covered by a wide variety of artists including the Beach Boys and Aerosmith.

Huey “Piano” Smith will be missed by his friends, fans and family at BMI.


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