Blind lemon jefferson early blues

'What don’t I want to learn? I have how-to books, history, nature. Ain’t nobody here saying, “You’d better learn this.” But I still think I’ve got a head on my shoulders, and it pleases me.’

The neatness of his attire was almost incredible; I believe a speck of dust would have caused him more pain than a bullet wound. Yet this quaint dandified little man who, I was sorry to see, now limped badly, had been in his time one of the most celebrated members of the Belgian police. [4]

Blind Lemon Jefferson was to Texas blues what Charley Patton was to Mississippi blues. His performances had a direct influence upon such legendary Texas musicians as Lightnin' Hopkins , T-Bone Walker , and Leadbelly , while his recordings helped bring his influence to an even larger audience. In the decades since, Jefferson 's songs have been covered by countless musicians including Bob Dylan , John Hammond, Jr. , and Kelly Joe Phelps , to name just a few. The late '50s and early '60s brought the reissue of some of Jefferson 's recordings on the Riverside and Milestone labels, sparking a renewal of widespread public interest in the bluesman. As a result, Blind Lemon Jefferson Clubs were opened in California and New York during the '60s, and the rock band Jefferson Airplane reputedly chose their name after the great bluesman. A good single album compiling selections of Jefferson 's music remains the Yazoo label's appropriately titled King of the Country Blues , which was eventually remastered for CD release. For completists, the Document label has since issued his entire recorded works in a four-volume CD series. In 1980, Blind Lemon Jefferson was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame.

But for the great many, day-to-day existence was tough, jostling to earn a nickel on filthy street corners, heckled and abused by a hostile, sectarian society and fighting a raging battle against disease and addiction. Every blind bluesman certainly had a tale to tell. To acquaint yourself with the most troublesome and intriguing, look no further than these five cases.

The British band Half Man Half Biscuit recorded a parody titled "See That My Bike's Kept Clean" on their 1997 album Voyage to the Bottom of the Road . [7]

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