Plenty of blues artists back in the 1930s used an alias when recording. Unlike those trying to make more money or outrun the law, Blind Joe Taggart had another motive to record ‘14th Street Blues’ as Blind Percy.
If not for the repeal of Prohibition, America might never have discovered the soulful voice, risque lyrics and killer slide guitar of Kokomo Arnold.
This forefather of the urban blues movement racked up a lot of records, but that didn’t stop his life from turning out like a blues song: tragic and over too soon.
Sure, Sophie Tucker tried to parlay a song title into a nickname, but if you ask most blues fans, Mother Of The Blues Gertrude ‘Ma’ Rainey wins the title.
The discovery of a Blind Blake record is proof that just because a record is missing doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
‘She put carbolic in my coffee, turpentine in my tea, Strychnine in my biscuits, Lord but she didn’t hurt me,’ the bluesman sings in ‘Big Chief Blues.’ And all of that doesn’t even get into Lewis’ real life.
Blind Willie McTell ate, drank (a lot) and lived the blues like nobody else. Unfortunately, that life kept him from being around for the blues
renaissance of the 1960s.
Some guys will do just about anything to impress a girl — and then they count on their buddies, like blues musician Blind Teddy Darby, to bail them out.
The modern guitar hero was inspired by Reynolds’ ‘Outside Woman Blues,’ which Cream covered for its ‘Disraeli Gears’ album — and which is next to impossible to find on an original Paramount 78 RPM record.
Released in January 1931, Harum Scarum’s “Come On In” was a luxury few could afford then, and a 78 RPM rarity you’d be hard-pressed to even find — let alone buy — now.