GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) —Blues singer and harmonica player Jerry “Boogie” McCain has died in his hometown of Gadsden. He was 81.

McCain's niece, Mary Elizabeth McCain Wise, said he died March 28 at Riverview Regional Medical Center, where he was being treated for a bone marrow disease.

McCain began recording in 1953. His early records included East of the Sun, Wine-O-Wine, The Jig's Up and My Next Door Neighbor.

 Wise said he continued to record until shortly before his death and his last recording celebrated the University of Alabama's national football championship.

In recent years, he played music festivals across the United States and Europe and received the Alabama Folk Heritage Award.