Leadbelly


I’ve sort of rediscovered the guitar. I say sort of because I never really stopped playing. It’s just that sometime after 1979 it stopped being the center of my life and sometime after 1990 it stopped being a daily activity. But it’s coming back, and one of the reasons is my self education of the blues. I did this little sketch this evening of Leadbelly – real name Huddie Ledbetter – who lived an amazing, if not checkered, life and left behind a treasure of early 20th century blues and folk music. I’ve read somewhere that he supposedly had a repertoire of about 800 songs, many of which he composed himself. The sketch above is from a pretty good photo I found on-line. Wikipedia has a fairly good biography, and the Lomax family’s web site has a fascinating timeline of the careers of Leadbelly and John Lomax, the man who discovered him in a Louisiana penitentiary in the 1930s, and first started to record Leadbelly’s music.

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