Blues legend BENNIE SMITH died on Sunday (10SEP06) after suffering a heart attack. He was 72. Smith was due to perform a concert in University City, Missouri, with the Soulard Blues Band on the night of his death, but was adamant to show should go on without him. Harmonica player TOM 'PAPA' RAY says, "He was still conscious on Saturday. He informed his saxophonist to do the gig, and I was joking that Bennie didn't want to get a reputation as a no-show." Smith suffered a heart attack in 2004 and was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year (06). During his career, Smith performed alongside Aretha Franklin, Ike Turner, The Drifters, Rufus Thomas and ALBERT KING.
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