Saxophonist Fred Ford, a versatile jazz and rhythm and blues musician who recorded with B.B. King and Jerry Lee Lewis, died Nov. 26 in Memphis, Tenn., following a battle with cancer. He was 69.
Ford, a mainstay of the Memphis music scene, was known for his baritone sax skills. He played on hundreds of sessions, including recordings with Rufus Thomas, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Charlie Rich and Junior Parker.
Ford started playing professionally with the Douglass Swingsters Orchestra and the Andrew Chaplin Band in the late 1940s, before graduating from high school.
His most famous recording — the 1952 classic “Hound Dog” by Big Mama Thornton — had him barking instead of playing sax.