He was born Odie Payne Jr. in Chicago, Illinois. Payne was interested in
music from an early age, and did not restrict himself to a narrow musical
genre. He studied music in high school and later drafted into the Army, but
upon his discharge, Payne graduated from the Roy C. Knapp School of
Percussion. By 1949 Payne was playing along with the pianist Little Johnny
Jones, before meeting Tampa Red and enlisting into his band. The association
lasted for around three years before, in 1952, Payne and Jones joined Elmore
James's band, the Broomdusters.
Payne played with the Broomdusters for another three years, although his
recording association with them lasted through to 1959. In total he recorded
thirty one singles with them, including 'The Sky Is Crying'. By this time
Payne had become a favored session musician appearing through that decade on
the Cobra label, with Otis Rush, Magic Sam, and Buddy Guy. His playing also
can be heard on various Chess records, including the Chuck Berry hit singles
'Nadine', 'You Never Can Tell', 'Promised Land' and 1964's 'No Particular
Place to Go.' All appeared on the Berry's 1982 compilation album, The Great
Noted for his usage of the cowbell, bass drum pedal, and extended cymbal and
drum rolls, Payne's double shuffle drumming technique was much copied and
utilised by both Fred Below and Sam Lay. The technique called for Payne to
use both his hands to effect the shuffle effect.
Payne appears to have a songwriting credit to his name for the song 'Say
Man,' which was recorded by both Bo Diddley and Willie Mabon; although
Payne's name certainly did not appear on every version published.
Odie Payne died in Chicago in March 1989, at the age of 62.
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