Local Music Legend Dies

One of the last Cincinnati blues music legends died this weekend. Big Joe Duskin passed away at home Sunday morning at age 86.

A boogie-woogie piano player, Duskin may have been part of the generation that produced legends like BB King and Muddy Waters, but his background was far from typical: he fought as a soldier in World War II and became a Cincinnati Police Officer before becoming a professional musician at age 43.

The late start came because of a promise to his father, a Baptist minister, that he wouldn't play the blues while his father was still alive, a promise he made at age 17, a promise he kept until with until his father died 26 years later. "I loved the old man, although he didn't like the music and all that, so I never did play music until after he was in the grave.", Duskin told FOX19 in a 2005 interview.

Duskin quickly made up for lost time, and became an internationally known artist, playing clubs in Cincinnati, and throughout Europe, which has long been a strong market for American blues.

His last album was recorded just three years ago, and he only slowed down recently because of health problems. His daughter Sharon Parks said he was scheduled to have his legs amputated because of diabetes, and believes he made a deal with God to take him before that could happen.

"He done a lot of great things in his life. A lot to make me really proud he was my father."