David Vest

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David Vest (born November 2, 1943) is a rock and roll piano player, poet, columnist, and activist from Huntsville. He worked professionally as a pianist from the age of 15, inspired by having seen Carl Perkins perform in Huntsville on a bill with Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison. He learned to a play on a used piano his grandmother had delivered to their house in West End, a few blocks away from Ensley's Tuxedo Junction.

His first record, "I Can't Be Satisfied," with the Sacred Aires, is thought to have been the last song written by Alton Delmore of the Delmore Brothers. In the 1960's Vest played seven nights a week at Pappy's Club with Jerry Woodard and The Esquires. He also sat in with Big Joe Turner, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Ace Cannon, and Bill Black's Combo.

After quitting the band he became a regular on the Country Boy Eddy Show on WBRC 6 and enrolled at Birmingham-Southern College to learn to be a writer. He performed with Tammy Wynette and Fannie Flagg on television and at the Little Theatre.

He moved on to Vanderbilt University where he earned his Ph.D, and spent summer writing in France before accepting a post-graduate teaching position at Longwood College in Virginia. While there he spent a year in Romania as a Fulbright Scholar, becoming the first American to cut an album in that country.

After leaving teaching, Vest spent twenty years in Texas, touring with Floyd Dixon, Lavelle White, and Jimmy "T99" Nelson for much of that time.

Vest currently resides on Vancouver Island and tours the west coast and Canada. He was also a member of the Paul deLay Band and the Cannonballs and has released several solo albums.

He is publishing his memoir, Rebel Angel in installments on the online journal CounterPunch.

In 2013 he won a Maples Blues Award as Piano Player of the Year in Canada.

External links


  • David Vest. East Meets Vest. (Ark-O-Matic Records, 2012)
  • David Vest. Rock a While. (Criminal Records, 2010)
  • Paul deLay Band (with David Vest). The Last of the Best. (Criminal Records, 2007)
  • David Vest. Serve Me Right to Shuffle. (Trillium Records, 2005)
  • David Vest. Way Down Here. (Live, Trillium Records, 2003)
  • David Vest & Miki Lynn. Songs of Love and Trouble, (Bone Dry, 1995)
  • David Vest. Mortal Poet. (Bone Dry, 1994)
  • David Vest. Heart Full of Rock and Roll. (Electrecord, 1980)