He began his career playing in the Atlantic Records studio band, recording on albums by Aretha Franklin and King Curtis as a member of Curtis’s band “The King Pins”. He has reputedly recorded on 2500 sessions with artists such as Lena Horne, Archie Shepp, Grover Washington Jr., Snooky Young, and Miles Davis.
Cornell Dupree (born 1942 – died May 8, 2011) was an American R&B/soul jazz guitarist. He worked at various times with Bill Withers, Donny Hathaway, King Curtis and Steve Gadd, appeared on David Letterman, and written a book on soul and blues guitar: Rhythm and Blues Guitar ISBN 0-634-00149-3.
He has reputedly recorded on 2500 sessions. Dupree began his career playing in the Atlantic Records studio band, recording on albums by Aretha Franklin (Aretha Live at Fillmore West) and King Curtis as a member of Curtis’s band “The King Pins” (having grown up with King Curtis in Fort Worth, Texas).
He appeared on the 1969 Lena Horne and GÃ¡bor SzabÃ³ recording, and on recordings with Archie Shepp, Grover Washington, Jr., Snooky Young and Miles Davis. He was a founding member of the band Stuff, which featured fellow guitarist Eric Gale, Richard Tee on keyboards, Steve Gadd, Chris Parker on drums, and Gordon Edwards on bass.
Dupree and Tee recorded together on many occasions. Notable albums include the aforementioned Aretha and King Curtis records, plus Joe Cocker‘s Stingray and Luxury You Can Afford, plus Cornell’s solo albums Teasin’, Saturday Night Fever (instrumental), Shadow Dancing, Can’t Get Through, Coast to Coast, Uncle Funky, Child’s Play, Bop ‘n’ Blues, and Unstuffed.
He played on Brook Benton‘s “Rainy Night in Georgia” and “Please Send Me Someone to Love”, and is featured on two tracks of Peter Wolf’s 1998 album, Fool’s Parade. He is also known for playing the opening guitar riff on Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”. In December 1972 the UK music magazine, NME, reported that Dupree, along with Roberta Flack and Jerry Jemmott, had been injured in an auto accident in Manhattan.
Dupree used a Fender “red-knob” twin reverb and played a Yamaha signature guitar called the Dupree Super Jam (it used to be a model similar to the SJ-550 HM, but now is closer to a 3-pickup Pacifica with a maple neck).