Remembering “Lu ‘The REAL DEAL’ Peterson” In Our Hearts & Memories

Luther Spooky Peterson
Contributed Photo: Lu “Spooky” Peterson performs at The Mayor’s Mansion

By Ron Griffin

MEMORIAL TRIBUTE – Luther Spooky Peterson was a well-known local musician and entertainer. He retired as a driver from Alexian Brothers. He was a member of The Masonic Order. He performed with local music groups such as Peterson, Harden & Mack, Broad St. Exit, Love, Peace & Happiness, Strictly Rhythm, The Sensations, and many others. He was a 1968 graduate of Riverside High School and was also known for his delicious BBQ.

It was on the Chicago music scene where Spooky focused on the Congo Drums, the flute and also mastered the Kalimba (African thumb piano made famous by Maurice White of Earth, Wind and Fire).

In 1983, Spooky was hired as the percussionist/ background vocalist for the late great Curtis Mayfield. Spooky toured extensively with Curtis until Mayfield had to suspend for health reasons.

Mr. Peterson garnered the Johari Lounge “Entertainer of the Year” in 1988 and in 2016 Luther Peterson was awarded The Lifetime Achievement Award by the Mary Walker Foundation. This award was given to Luther Peterson in appreciation for his talented and unselfish contribution to Chattanooga music.

Contributed Photo: The Fatalians: L-R: Joseph “Lucky” Scott, Spooky Peterson, Paul McKibbins, and Thomas “Dopey” Griffith.
Contributed Photo: Broad Street Exit Band: L-R John Cady, Luther Spooky Peterson, Cheryl Porter, Bill Hackler, Howard Brown, Gail Lattimore and Vinson Canion

After touring with Curtis Mayfield, Luther Peterson chose marriage, kids and Chattanooga over the rigors of touring.

He was preceded in death by his father, Luther Peterson, Sr., aunt, Bobbie Jo Mack, and sister, Lucellan Peterson. He is survived by his wife, Mary Smith –Peterson, Daughters, Tiffani (Phil) Barfield and Keila Peterson, Sons, Keith and Kaylon Peterson, Mother Sarah Harden, Siblings, Jackie (Gil) Aikens, Barbara Pratt, Elizabeth (Major) Matthews, Susan Stoxsell, Pamela Peterson, Kenneth Harden, Anthony (Earnese) Peterson, Alvin Harden, nine Grandchildren and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.