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Calvin Frazier

A co-employee of Robert Johnson, Calvin Frazier by no means attained the notoriety of additional Johnson protégés like Johnny Shines, Robert Jr. Lockwood or Honeyboy Edwards, but his scant documented legacy reveals a performer whose undertake prewar-era blues is really as unique and special as any within the cannon. Born Feb 16, 1915 in Osceola, Arkansas, Frazier started his career carrying out alongside his brothers, and together with Shines, he journeyed to Helena, Arkansas in 1930; there they fulfilled Johnson, and collectively the three males gradually journeyed north to Detroit, where they sang hymns on region gospel broadcasts. Upon coming back south, Frazier and Johnson also became a member of with drummer Peck Curtis inside a string-band combo. Nevertheless, in 1935 Frazier was wounded inside a Memphis shootout which remaining another man deceased; he fled back again to Detroit, marrying Shines’ cousin and settling right into a existence of peaceful anonymity. Aside from gigs assisting famous brands Big Maceo Merriweather, Grain Miller and Baby Boy Warren, he resurfaced in 1938 lengthy enough to slice a program for folklorist Alan Lomax; as the spectre of Johnson undeniably haunts renditions of music including “Lily Mae” (a rewrite of “Honeymoon vacation Blues”) and “Highway 51” (raised from “Dirt My Broom”), Frazier’s incomprehensible vocals, menacingly surreal lyrics and beautiful slide guitar will be the hallmarks of a complete original. He didn’t record once again until a 1951 time with T.J. Fowler’s leap band, and got into the studio one final time in 1954 with Warren and Miller; Frazier continuing performing within the Detroit region to little see until his loss of life on Sept 23, 1972.

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