LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Blues singer and guitarist Calvin Leavy, best known
for the regional hit "Cummins Prison Farm" died Sunday, a year before
his release date from his Arkansas state prison sentence. He was 70.
Arkansas Correction Department spokeswoman Dina Tyler said Leavy died
Sunday afternoon, likely from complications from diabetes.
Leavy was born in 1940 in the southeast Arkansas city of Stuttgart, and
recorded some of his music in the 1960s and 1970s. "Cummins Prison Farm"
gained radio play for Leavy in 1970 in Arkansas, Mississippi and
Tennessee. He followed that with "Free From Cummins Prison Farm." Some
other notable songs of Leavy's are "Going to the Dogs" and "If Life
Lasts Luck is Bound to Change."
Leavy had been locked up since 1992, when he was convicted of
drug-related counts in Little Rock. He began his sentence in the Cummins
Unit, but was moved soon afterward to a treatment unit due to his poor
health, Tyler said.
Leavy's sentence of life plus 25 years was commuted to 75 years by
then-Gov. Mike Huckabee. With the sentence reduction, Leavy would have
been eligible for release on June 5, 2011. Gov. Mike Beebe denied a
pardon request by Leavy about three years ago.
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Imprisoned Ark blues singer Calvin Leavy dies
Associated Press - June 7, 2010 12:54 PM ET
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Blues singer Calvin Leavy, whose "Cummins
Prison Farm" and other songs of struggle and failure seemed to
anticipate a life of turmoil, has died in the Arkansas state prison system.
Arkansas prisons spokeswoman Dina Tyler says Leavy died Sunday
afternoon, likely from complications from diabetes. Tyler says Leavy
died in a Pine Bluff hospital with family at his side.
The 70-year-old Leavy, whose songs also include, "If Life Lasts Luck is
Bound to Change," had been locked up since 1992, when he was convicted
of multiple drug-related counts in Little Rock.
His life plus 25 years sentence was commuted to 75 years by then-Gov.
Mike Huckabee. Leavy began his sentence in the Cummins Unit, but was
moved soon afterward due to his health.
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Cummins Prison Farm
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