) was an American jazz and R&B guitarist. He worked at various times with Bill Withers, Donny Hathaway, King Curtis and Steve Gadd, appeared on David Letterman, and wrote a book on soul and blues guitar: Rhythm and Blues Guitar. He reportedly recorded on 2,500 sessions.
Dupree was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, where he graduated from I.M. Terrell High School. 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). He appeared on the 1969 Lena Horne and Gábor Szabó 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 and 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.
In later years, 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 three-pickup Pacifica
with a maple neck).
In 1989, Cornell recorded a video for Arlen Roth's
Hot Licks called R&B Guitar, which documented his style, technique
and influences. In 2009, Dupree appeared in a documentary entitled Still Bill, which chronicled the life and times of Bill Withers. He appeared on stage playing a guitar-led version of Grandma's Hands.
Bill Withers, at first, was sitting in the audience, but ended up
joining him on stage to sing the lyrics to the song. In this part of the
documentary, Dupree played his guitar on a stool, breathing using an
oxygen machine, which foretold his suffering from emphysema.
Dupree died on May 8, 2011 at his home in Fort Worth, Texas. He had been waiting for a lung transplant as a result of suffering from emphysema.
1 Bumpin' 4:37
2 Short Stuff 4:01
3 Putt's Pub 5:17
4 For Blue's Sake 5:32
5 Child's Play 4:32
6 Smooth Sailin' 4:37
7 Ramona 5:08
8 Just What You Need 4:20
9 Mr. Bojangles 7:03
Guitar, Producer – Cornell Dupree
Alto Saxophone – Steve Greenfield
Arranged By [Horns] – Richard Tee
Bass – Will Lee
Drums, Percussion – Eric Parker
Flugelhorn – Randy Brecker
Piano – Paul Shaffer
Piano, Organ – Mitch Margold
Tenor Saxophone – Scott Kreitzer
Trombone – Randy Andos
Trumpet – Barry Danielian