ESQUERITA was the stage name of singer, songwriter and pianist Eskew Reeder Jr.

Little is known about this manic rock and roll piano player, born in Greenville, South Carolina, on November 20, 1935. He is perhaps best-known as an influence on Little Richard. How aware little Richard was of Esquerita cannot be proven, As Reeder did not record until after Little Richard's initial mid-1950s recordings, however it is clear that Esquerita greatly influenced Richard stylistically. Esquerita was known for wearing heavy makeup and two wigs, piling his pompador even higher than Richard's.
Reeder was a self-taught piano player whose roots were in gospel music. His music career started as a teenager, when he dropped out of high school and joined the gospel group "Heavenly Echoes" based in New York City.
His first solo studio recordings came about when Paul Peek got him to record some demos at a Greenville radio station (WESC) around 1958. Cub Koda described the results as "some of the most untamed and unabashed sides ever issued by a major label.
The ensuing years found Reeder cutting several singles with various backing musicians in studios in Nashville, Dallas, New Orleans and Detroit. Some of the musicians he recorded with in this era included Jimi Hendrix, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, and The Jordanaires (Elvis Presley's backup singers).
In 1968, Reeder changed his name to "The Magnificent Malochi" and signed with Brunswick Records. Shortly after this, he began to fade from the music scene, and little was known about his whereabouts. Reeder occasionally performed at African-American gay clubs under the name "Fabulash" during the 1970s. During 1983 or 1984, he began performing in second-rate New York City clubs. Esquerita was down on his luck and was working as a parking lot attendant but was still as flamboyant as ever. By 1985 he was seen washing windshields of cars for tips at an intersection in Brooklyn, NY.
Esquerita's father, Eskew Reeder Sr., said that his son had died of complications brought on by AIDS in 1986.
Mick Jones (of The Clash) wrote and recorded a song called "Esquerita" with his band Big Audio Dynamite in 1992.

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