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Jack Kelly

b. c.1905, Mississippi, USA, d. c.1960, Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Kelly’s 1st jug band, shaped in 1925, included Frank Stokes, Dan Sane and can Batts. Kelly, Batts, Sane and juggist D.M. Higgs documented as the South Memphis Jug Music group in 1933. (Kelly, Batts and a guitarist, probably Ernest Lawlars, documented once again in 1939.) Their audio was seen as a Kelly’s vibrant performing, the wide, bluesy shades of Batts’ fiddle as well as the organic interplay of twin guitars. Kelly’s penchant for re-recording the tune of ‘Highway No. 61 Blues’ is usually offset with a skill for stunning lyrics. Following the band split up in 1934, Kelly worked well either single, with Stokes, or in random rings. In 1953, he documented for Sun Information, playing piano with Walter ‘Shakey’ Horton and Joe Hill Louis. A 78 rpm record was planned, but by no means released; part of 1 side was released many years later on.

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