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Blind Lemon Jefferson

Biography

Nation blues guitarist and vocalist Blind Lemon Jefferson is indisputably one of many figures in nation blues. He was of the best in many relation, being among the founders of Tx blues (alongside Tx Alexander), one of the most important country bluesmen ever, one of the most well-known bluesmen from the 1920s, as well as the initial truly commercially effective male blues performer. Until Jefferson’s achievements, really the only effective blues recordings had been by ladies performers, including Bessie Smith and Ida Cox, who generally sang songs compiled by others and along with a music group. With Jefferson arrived a blues designer who was single, self-accompanied, and carrying out significant amounts of initial material as well as the even more familiar repertoire of folk requirements and shouts. These originals consist of his most well-known tracks: “Matchbox Blues,” “OBSERVE THAT My Grave Is certainly Kept Clean,” and “Dark Snake Moan.” In every, Blind Lemon Jefferson documented almost 100 tracks in just a couple of years, producing his tag on not merely the bluesmen of that time period (including Leadbelly and Lightnin’ Hopkins) but additionally on music enthusiasts within the a long time. The legacy of Jefferson’s exclusive and effective sound didn’t fade using the transferring years. Many details on the life span of Blind Lemon Jefferson aren’t obtainable, but general home elevators the person and his profession can be tracked relatively through recordings, several public records, as well as the memories of these who understood him. Although his delivery is definitely put into July of 1897, analysis almost a hundred years afterwards uncovered a census record that detailed his delivery in Sept of 1893. Regardless of the doubt encircling his delivery time, a couple of things are specific: Jefferson was created on a plantation in Couchman, TX, beyond Wortham, and, blind from enough time of delivery, he was raised as you of seven kids. Around 1912, he started playing electric guitar and performing at picnics and celebrations in his house region. His musical affects included not merely the singing from the natural cotton pickers and regional guitar players but additionally the guitarists one of the area’s Mexican employees who often integrated flamenco patterns within their playing. These affects ultimately resulted in Jefferson’s unique design of organic phrases and intricate, however fast, finger function. Within a year or two, Jefferson widened his carrying out radius to add Groesbeck, Buffalo, Waco, along with other encircling cities. Sometime around 1915, Jefferson also started playing in Dallas and, by 1917, was a citizen of the town. He was frequently found playing within the Deep Ellum section of Dallas where he ultimately fulfilled another bluesman who one day become popular, Leadbelly. Although Leadbelly was the older bluesman of both, it really is generally acknowledged that Jefferson was the better guitarist. Leadbelly was therefore impressed with Blind Lemon Jefferson, actually, that he’d later record tunes in tribute to Jefferson’s capability, including the track, “Blind Lemon’s Blues.” Both men even performed together for some time, sometime before Leadbelly’s 1st prison sentence. From your past due teens in to the early ’20s, Blind Lemon Jefferson journeyed and performed his passionate make of blues, striking (at the minimum) the Mississippi Delta and Memphis locations, although it is probable that his moves took him further. In 1922 or 1923 he wedded a woman called Roberta with whom he’d have kids, including a youngster within the mid-’20s. It had been in 1925 a Tx skill scout finally produced a demo documenting of Jefferson and delivered it to Mayo Williams at Paramount Information in Chicago. Jefferson was shortly (circa 12/25 and 1/26) taken to Chicago to record for the very first time. The results had been two gospel music: “I wish to END UP LIKE Jesus in my own Center” and “All I’D LIKE IS THE FACT THAT Pure Religious beliefs,” both which had been released beneath the pseudonym Deacon L.J. Bates. 8 weeks later, Jefferson started documenting blues 78s under his very own name, but that preliminary session wasn’t the final time Jefferson documented under a pseudonym. In 1927, “He Arose In the Deceased” and “Where Shall I End up being?” had been released beneath the brands Deacon L.J. Bates and Elder J.C. Dark brown for the Paramount and Herwin brands, respectively. Jefferson documented over 90 music total in under four years’ period. The vast majority of his recordings had been for the Paramount label, apart from his two-day program for Okeh, which occurred in Atlanta in March of 1927. This program resulted in the next edition of “That Dark Snake Moan,” (11/26) this time around entitled “Dark Snake Moan,” along with the first documenting of another music that became among Jefferson’s most well-known originals, “Matchbox Blues,” which he documented once again for Paramount just one single month later on. Jefferson’s records do well immediately, producing him among the best-selling competition documenting artists of that time period. This is amazing taking into consideration his decidedly non-commercial audio; his high, eerie tone of voice (often referred to as possessing a “lonesome” appear), the eager (and occasionally suggestive) character of his lyrics, and his often-complex acoustic guitar work all mixed into a especially fresh and hard-hitting blues. Furthermore to his regular documenting periods in Chicago through the entire past due ’20s, Blind Lemon Jefferson still performed in Tx and journeyed throughout the South. He performed Chicago rent celebrations, performed at St. Louis’ Booker T. Washington Movie theater, and even proved helpful some with Kid Home collaborator Rev. Rubin Lacy whilst in Mississippi. In past due Sept of 1929, Jefferson visited Paramount’s studios in Richmond, IN, for a successful program that included two tracks — “Bed Springs Blues” and “Yo Yo Blues” — which were also released within the Broadway label. Jefferson was back Chicago in Dec of 1929 when, unfortunately, he was discovered dead carrying out a especially cold snowstorm. There are many stories concerning his loss of life: It’s been stated that he got dropped within the surprise after departing a friend’s party in a past due hour, or that he was left behind by his chauffeur, or was wiped out in a vehicle accident, while another edition claims Jefferson acquired a coronary attack and froze within the snow. Irrespective, the important bluesman was still in his thirties when he passed away, and no loss of life certificate was released, so the time of his transferring is only regarded as toward the finish of Dec. Pianist and labelmate Will Ezell escorted Jefferson’s body back again to Wortham, TX, where Blind Lemon Jefferson was laid to rest, purportedly on New Year’s Time, 1930. However for the writer from the pleading “OBSERVE THAT My Grave Is definitely Kept Clean,” the grave itself proceeded to go unmarked. This is finally remedied in 1967 whenever a metallic Tx Historic Marker was positioned on the approximate place. From the 1990s, nevertheless, Jefferson’s grave was uncovered to maintain disrepair. A fundraiser was arranged and, because of the initiatives and donations of blues supporters all over the world, a granite headstone was finally positioned upon Jefferson’s grave, inscribed along with his lyric, “Lord, it’s one kind favour I’ll talk to of you. Note that my grave can be held clean.” It had been also discovered through the preparation from the headstone that there surely is no support for the day widely thought to be that of Jefferson’s delivery — July 1897 (which actually appeared on the initial grave marker) — as the census papers within the Condition Archives detailed Lemon Jefferson’s delivery to maintain Sept of 1893. Therefore, the new day was placed on the gravestone. Blind Lemon Jefferson was to Tx blues what Charley Patton was to Mississippi blues. His shows had a primary impact upon such renowned Tx music artists as Lightnin’ Hopkins, T-Bone Walker, and Leadbelly, while his recordings helped provide his impact to a straight larger audience. Within the years since, Jefferson’s music have been included in countless music artists including Bob Dylan, John Hammond, Jr., and Kelly Joe Phelps, to mention just a couple. The past due ’50s and early ’60s brought the reissue of a few of Jefferson’s recordings over the Riverside and Milestone brands, sparking a renewal of popular public curiosity about the bluesman. Because of this, Blind Lemon Jefferson Night clubs had been opened up in California and NY through the ’60s, as well as the rock-band Jefferson Aircraft reputedly select their name following the great bluesman. An excellent single recording compiling choices of Jefferson’s music continues to be the Yazoo label’s properly titled Ruler of the united states Blues, that was ultimately remastered for Compact disc launch. For completists, the Record label offers since released his entire documented works inside a four-volume Compact disc series. In 1980, Blind Lemon Jefferson was inducted in to the Blues Foundation’s Hall of Popularity.

Quick Facts


Full Name Blind Lemon Jefferson
Died December 19, 1929, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Profession Singer-songwriter
Nationality American
Awards Grammy Hall of Fame
Music Songs See That My Grave Is Kept Clean, He Arose From the Dead, Hangman's Blues, Rambler Blues, That Black Snake Moan, Rising High Water Blues, Long Distance Moan, Beggin' Back, Where Shall I Be, Oil Well Blues, Right of Way Blues, Big Night Blues, Croke and Hungry Blues, Bad Luck Blues, Easy Rider Blues, Mean Jumper Blues, Happy New Year Blues, Match Box Blues #4, Black Horse Blues, I Want to Be Like Jesus in My Heart, Prison Cell Blues, Rabbit Foot Blues, One Dime Blues, Long Lonesome Blues, The Crawlin' Baby Blues, Fat Cat Women, Booster Blues, Mosquito Moan, Teddy Bear Blues, Dry Southern Blues, Jack O'Diamonds Blues, Deceitful Brownskin Blues
Albums Blind Lemon Jefferson's Texas Blues, Vol. 4, Got The Blues, Dynamite Blues, Vol. 1, Essential Blind Lemon Jefferson, Vol. 2, Best Recordings of Blind Lemon Jefferson, Cat Man Blues, Essential Blind Lemon Jefferson, Vol. 1, Blind Lemon Jefferson's Texas Blues Vol 5, BD Music Presents Blind Lemon Jefferson, Black Snake Moan, King of the Country Blues, The Best of Blind Lemon Jefferson, See That My Grave Is Kept Clean, The Complete Classic Sides Remastered, The Collection. 20 Blues Greats, The Complete Recordings, The Rough Guide to Blues Legends: Blind Lemon Jefferson, The Complete 94 Classic Sides, Broke And Hungry, Moanin' All Over, Blind Lemon Jefferson / Son House, Two Blues Icons, Essential Blind Lemon Jefferson, Vol. 4, Blues Connections, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Sunshine Special Blues, Vol. 3, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Right Of Way Blues, Vol. 3, Your Music Around Me, The Complete Classic Sides Remastered: Atlanta & Chicago 1926 Disc B, Famous Hits by Blind Lemon Jefferson, Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, Volume 2: 1927, Bad Luck Blues, That Black Snake Moan, Eagle Eyed Mama, King of the Blues, A Summer Sky Shines, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Sunshine Special Blues, Vol. 1, Essential Blind Lemon Jefferson, Vol. 3, The Blues Effect - Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Lemon Jefferson's Texas Blues Vol 3, Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, Volume 1: 1925–1926, Maltese Cat Blues, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Right Of Way Blues, Vol. 1, Texas Blues, Vol. 2, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Right Of Way Blues, Vol. 2, Tonight in Time, Dynamite Blues, Vol. 3, Essential Blues, Vol. 1, Blue On Blues, Greatest Blues Masters, Colours of Music History (Remastered), Blind Lemon Jefferson (The Big Blues Collection)


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Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Az A38 Hajó színpadán 2014 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Nashville 2012 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Lore 2012 performer: "Match Box Blues" / writer: "Match Box Blues"
How Music Works 2006 TV Series documentary performer - 1 episode
The Blues 2003 TV Series documentary performer - 1 episode
Bluesland: A Portrait in American Music 1993 Documentary performer: "That Black Snake Moan"
In Session: Stevie Ray Vaughan/Albert King 1983 TV Movie writer: "Match Box Blues" - uncredited
The Andy Griffith Show 1962 TV Series lyrics - 1 episode

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Blues Odyssey 2001 TV Movie documentary Himself

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