Roosevelt Dean

The man known as ‘The Voice of Syracuse’

His name was Roosevelt Dean but he became known as “The Voice of Syracuse.” Singer and guitarist, writer of that “down Home” kind of blues. Producer of 11 or 12 CDs, and if you go back far enough, a 45 RPM record or two and a cassette of his own special brand of blues music. He also produced two CDs for his friend and co-performer Ms. Carolyn Kelly.

Rosie was born in blues country, Phenix, Ala., the rural south. As a young boy, he had to do many of the things blues singers always write and sing about. The kinds of things and the kind of life that just make you wanna sing the blues, or just play it on your guitar. That’s got to be what generated his passion to sing those down home blues and play that Gibson guitar he often sat and leaned over like a praying mantis as he performed.

Mr. Dean passed in April of 2009 leaving behind a rich legacy of blues music and many, many friends and fans that turned out regularly to watch and hear him perform. He didn’t only perform locally here in his adopted hometown of Syracuse. “Rosie,” as all of his friends called him, traveled the “chitlin circuit,” covering a number of blues clubs and night spots throughout the south. After Rosie had made those trips so many times, pulling that black trailer with large red lettering, filled with his sound equipment behind that white 1993 Dodge van, people down south soon got to where they could hardly wait until he arrived again. And when he got to each club down there it was standing room only, and blues mayhem all night long.
 
 
— By Herbert Williams, a local musician and singer