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Barbecue Bob:1902-1931. One of the more popular country blues players ever put to disc. He stayed true to the vision of country blues laid out by Charlie Patton, with his relaxed vocals, rolling rhythm of guitar playing, and lyrics shaded with both sadness and humor. His kinship with fellow bluesmen Curley Weaver, Eddie Mapp, and Buddy Moss helped spark their recording careers and put Atlanta blues on the map. Barbecue Bob championed the 12-string guitar and his 60 plus recordings were pivotal in the evolution of Mississippi Delta blues in the late 1920s.
Lead Belly:1889-1949. The diverse legacy of Lead Belly reads like a fabled outlaw rap sheet - songster, fighter, murderer, convict, twelve-string guitar slinger, left-wing activist. All of these and the “father of folk music” too. With a massive arsenal of over 500 songs he either wrote or adapted from earlier, passed-on traditions, Lead Belly’s stature in popular music is huge. Songs like “Midnight Special,” “Rock Island Line,” “Goodnight Irene,” “Cotton Fields,” “The Grey Goose,” and “The Bourgeois Blues” have all become standards in the folk-blues catalog.
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