Month: June 2017

Born this Day: David “Honeyboy” Edwards

Born this Day: David “Honeyboy” Edwards

David “Honeyboy” Edwards was born in Shaw, Mississippi on 28 June 1915. Around age twelve, Edwards began playing guitar. He learned from Big Joe Williams, Charlie Patton, and Tommy Johnson. Honeyboy would go on to travel all over the United States, hopping from one train to the next. He recounts many of these tales of being…

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On this Date – Ethel Waters

On this Date – Ethel Waters

On 14 June 1939, Ethel Waters became the first African American star of a television show, when NBC aired the Ethel Waters Show. This one-time television variety show special featured musical performances, dramatic vignettes, and more. To learn more about Ethel Waters, stop by the Blues Archive. Here’s a partial list of recordings by and works about…

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Skip James – Born this Day in 1902

Skip James – Born this Day in 1902

The Skip James song “Devil Got My Woman” is one of the most haunting blues songs, indeed in all of recorded music. The song’s minor open tuning, sparse accompaniment, and mournful, falsetto singing are the base for what some have termed the Bentonia style (after James’ hometown). This song likely influenced Robert Johnson’s “Hellhound on…

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