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H-Bomb Ferguson

Cincinnati, 1950s-2006

Robert "H-Bomb" Ferguson was born in rural South Carolina, and went on the road in the late 1940s before settling in New York City as part of the post war R&B club scene. He recorded for a couple local labels before signing up with Savoy records, which like many labels was issuing jazz and R&B without trying too hard to distinguish between the genres.

In 1957 he moved to Cincinnati, where he lived the rest of his life. His first record as an Ohioan was done for Finch records, with the typical crude living room style sound of the Finch catalog. The record was credited to H-Bomb Ferguson and his Mad Lads, the local band he recruited for backing. He recorded another 45 for one of Rite Pressing's house labels, Arc, and a 45 for Big Beat. All his 45s feature his aggressive 'shouter' vocal style, often referred to as 'black rockers' as opposed to the more blusey R&B shuffles.

In the early 1960s he recorded a couple 45s for Federal and one for Atlas, a NYC label where he had made a couple records a decade earlier. Many of these records got some local/regional airplay but none of them reached the national charts.

During the 1960s he seems to have kept busy playing in SW Ohio and nearby places on the chitlin circuit. Surprisingly, he did not make any other records the we know about until the 1980s. 

In the late 1970s, as part of the great rediscovery of old R&B artists, he back to play locally again, singing and playing electric piano while wearing crazy wigs of metallic colored hair. He became a fixture at local clubs and on the blues revival scene. Finally he got back to recording, first a double 45 and then an LP in Cincinnati, and then another LP in 1993 for the Earwig label out of Chicago. 

Eventually age caught up with him and he retired and passed away in 2006.