Jimmy Nelson (singer)

Birth name James Nelson
Also known as Jimmy “T99” Nelson
Born April 7, 1919
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Died July 29, 2007 (aged 88)
Houston, Texas, United States
Genres Jump blues, rhythm and blues, swing
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocals

Jimmy “T99” Nelson (born James Nelson, April 7, 1919 – July 29, 2007) was an American jump blues and rhythm and blues shouter and songwriter. With a recording career that spanned over 50 years, Jimmy “T99” Nelson became a distinguished elder statesman of American music. His best known recordings are “T-99 Blues” and “Meet Me With Your Black Dress On”. Nelson notably worked with Duke Robillard and Otis Grand.

Nelson got his start singing in church. In 1941, he saw a performance by Big Joe Turner while he was visiting Oakland, California, and realized he wanted to sing the blues. Turner taught Nelson about singing, performance and the music business. Nelson, in turn, absorbed the shouting style of his mentor.

In 1955, Nelson married Nettie (who has since died) and adopted Houston, Texas as his hometown. For the next 20 years, Nelson settled down and took a job working construction, though he continued to write songs and sit in with bands.

In the 1980s, Nelson came to the wider attention of blues fans when Ace issued ten of his sides on an album. Sweet Sugar Daddy a compilation album from the Japanese P-Vine Records, which mainly consisted of unreleased studio recordings from the 1960s and 1970s, was also released in 1988.

Nelson resumed touring and in 1999, released a comeback album Rockin’ and Shoutin’ the Blues from the Bullseye Blues & Jazz label. This album was nominated in two categories of the W.C. Handy Awards the following year.[5] Two more newly recorded albums followed on his own Nettie Marie label prior to his death, both featuring an all-star back-up band including Duke Robillard. In 2004, Ace released Cry Hard Luck, featuring re-issues of Nelson’s Kent & RPM recordings from 1951-1961.

Nelson died of cancer at a nursing home in Houston on July 29, 2007.[6]


1951: “T-99 Blues” (with the Peter Rabbit Trio)
1952: “Meet Me With Your Black Dress On” (RPM Records)
1963: “Tell Me Who” (Paradise 1002, Chess 1877)


1987: Watch That Action (Ace, CHD228)
1999: Rockin’ Shoutin’ the Blues (Bullseye Blues & Jazz, 793985) (feat. Doug James, Rich Lataille and Clarence Hollimon)
2002: Take Your Pick (Nettie Marie)
2005: The Legend (Nettie Marie)
Compilation albums[edit]
1981: Jimmy “Mr. T99” Nelson (Ace)
1988: Sweet Sugar Daddy (P-Vine)
2003: Cry Hard Luck: The RPM and Kent Recordings 1951-61 (Ace)