R. L. Griffin was born in 1943 in Kilgore, Texas. He formed his first group, The Fabulous Corvettes and released two sides with Griffin singing lead on "Goodbye Baby". "If I Didn't Know Better" and "Iíll Follow You" came out on Big Bo Thomas' Gay-Shel label with the Arrows in 1964. After leaving the Arrows to pursue a solo career, he often worked with Freddie King, who also came from east Texas. He took Bobby Bland as an early model and later became friendly with Z.Z. Hill. In 1979, he recorded extensively with Al ĎTNTí Braggs as his producer, with Braggsí brother James, Andrew "Jr. Boy" Jones and Smokiní Joe Kubek playing guitar on various tracks. A number of singles were released on the Classic label, including "There Is Something On Your Min", "It Donít Have To Be This Way" and "I Donít Think Iím Going To Make It". Griffin opened his first club, the Blues Alley, in 1985, later changing its name to the Blues Palace, which is still active today. In 1993 Black Grape released his first LP, "It Don't Have To be This Way". In 1999 he self-released the now obscure "Too Hot To Stop" album, which featured Lucky Peterson followed by "Step" in 2001.
In a 1999 interview with Southwest Blues Magazine Griffin also said: "I did a complete album with Al Braggs and Earnest Davis called "I Got to Go On". Joe Kubek was on that album. He played lead guitar on Something On Your Mind and all that stuff. I also put out a tape called "I Want To Be Rich" that eventually ended up on a CD in England. That came about through Junior Boy Jones playing with Charlie Musselwhite overseas. The guy had one of my records and Junior was over there and made the contact. They sent me some songs they wanted me to do and I did some covers. They said whatever I put out in the blues they were looking for my type of voice. I still have some of those left."
"It Don't Have To Be This Way" (Black Grape 1993)
1 There Is Something
On Your Mind 4:50
"Too Hot To Drop" (1999)
Info needed on this album
"Step" (Blues Palace 2001)
This album was re-issued by Dallas Record Store Forever Young Records as "Believe In Me" in the past decade
1. Believe In Me