The Alabama Blues Project is extremely sad to report that Alabama bluesman Terry O’Neil “Topper” Price passed away on Wednesday, May 16, 2007, at his Southside Birmingham apartment at the age of 54. His passing is a tremendous loss to the Alabama blues community fans and musicians.
Topper was a Mobile native, a real deal bluesman and staple of Alabama blues with a hard-hitting style of harmonica, vocals and songwriting. He was the ultimate bluesman, harp player, singer, bandleader and performer.
Among his many other credits are recording sessions with Dickie Betts of the Allman Brothers Band at Criteria Studios and many guest appearances with bands such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Albert Collins, The Band, The Radiators and Brother Cane. His own bands included Cowboy, The Convertibles and most recently, Topper Price and the Upsetters.
Topper has also featured in many Alabama Blues Project showcases throughout the years. During his career, Topper recorded two CDs. He released Long Way from Home in 1997 and later débuted Nature (Part 1). He recently finished a third album in his home studio that has not been released, tentatively called Nature (Part 2).
Topper is grieved by his fiancé, Kelly Casey, as well as many close friends, fans and fellow blues musicians across the state. On Tuesday, May 29, The Nick in Birmingham is hosting a Topper Price open mic memorial with no cover charge, although donations are welcome. On Wednesday, June 27, The Nick will also host a Topper Price fundraiser to help cover cremation expenses, according to the Magic City Blues Society.