Ross's blues style has been compared to that of John Lee Hooker and Sonny Boy Williamson. His recordings for Sun Records in the 1950s include "The Boogie Disease" and "Chicago Breakdown". He was a bluesman of Cherokee origin and exuberant one-man band.
He learned drums and harmonica at the age of nine and first appeared in public in 1938.
Because of the knowledge of the medicine of his ancestors, he was posted in the military hospital while in the army.
After the Second World War, he became "Doctor" and set up his band which played throughout the Delta and on various radio stations.
He was one of the first bluesmen to record for Sun.In 1951 Ross's records began to get airplay in Mississippi and Arkansas. He recorded with Chess Records and Sun with a group that included folk instruments, such as the washboard .
In 1954 Ross moved to the Detroit area and began working for General Motors. He recorded some singles with Fortune Records, including "Cat Squirrel" and "Industrial Boogie". He recorded an album issued by Testament Records and toured with the American Folk Blues Festival in Europe in 1965.
He recorded an album for Blue Horizon Records while he was in London and worked with Ornament Records in Germany in 1972. Ross and his music were popular in Europe, more so than in his home country.
Ross won a Grammy for his appearance on the 1981 album Various - Rare Blues (The Takoma Blues Series) - Previously Unreleased Blues Recordings From The Collection Of Norman Dayron and subsequently enjoyed a resurgence of popularity and critical acclaim towards the end of his career.
He died in 1993, at the age of 67, and was buried in Flint, Michigan.
Doctor Ross Discography Tracks
- 23 Vocals
- 25 Instruments & Performance
- 19 Writing & Arrangement
- 1 Featuring & Presenting
- 1 Production
- 1 Visual