Leonard "Baby Doo" Caston (June 2, 1917 – August
22, 1987) was an American blues pianist and guitarist. He is best noted for the
tracks "Blues At Midnight" and "I'm Gonna Walk Your Log."
Leonard Caston Sr., was born in Sumrall,
Mississippi, United States
and raised in Meadville, Mississippi
from age eight. He lived in Chicago
from 1934 to 1936 but then moved back to Mississippi
after his family relocated to Natchez
He learned to play piano under the influence of Leroy Carr and Art Tatum; he
has also credited Andy Kirk and Jimmy Rogers, as well as his relative Kim
Weathersby, as stylistic influences.
In 1938 he returned to Chicago,
where he met with Mayo Williams, a producer for Decca Records. Williams
recorded him in a trio with Eugene Gilmore and Arthur Dixon; Dixon
introduced him to his brother, Willie Dixon. Willie and Caston then formed the
Five Breezes, along with Jimmy Gilmore, Joe Bell, and Willie Hawthorne, a group
in the style of The Ink Spots. In 1940, Caston recorded his first solo record
for Decca, "The Death of Walter Barnes", which also included Robert
Nighthawk on harmonica.
The Five Breezes disbanded in 1941, and Caston began playing
in the Rhythm Rascals Trio with Alfred Elkins and Ollie Crawford. The group did
USO tours, and in 1945 performed at a conference for Dwight Eisenhower, Bernard
Montgomery, and Georgy Zhukov. After the war, he recorded under his own name as
well as for Roosevelt Sykes and Walter Davis, and did myriad studio sessions.
He also recorded again with Dixon
as the Four Jumps of Jive and the Big Three Trio, playing in both groups with
Bernardo Dennis as well. Ollie Crawford joined this group soon after Dennis's
departure. The Big Three Trio recorded for Columbia Records and Okeh Records.
The Big Three Trio's last sides were recorded in 1952, but
the group did not officially break up until 1956. Caston continued performing
for decades afterwards, returning to perform with Dixon