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Sid Hemphill


An extraordinary blind musician who could play fiddle, banjo, guitar, jaw harp, piano, organ, quills, and cane fife, Sid Hemphill was created in Como, Panola County, MS, in 1876. He documented 22 songs (plus an interview) for Alan Lomax in Sledge, MS, in 1942, accompanied by two even more tracks documented 17 years later on in Senatobia, MS, when Lomax revisited Hemphill in 1959. Dealing with a loosely moving group of regional music artists, including banjo participant Lucius Smith and guitarist Alex Askew, Hemphill documented music having a merging of Western African rhythms with Western sensibilities, resulting in a crazy, loose, and archaic audio that is component Appalachian string music group and component fife and drum marching music group; there is actually nothing that can compare with it in American music using the feasible exclusion of Othar Turner, who originates from exactly the same Mississippi custom. Among the tunes Hemphill deposit for Lomax in 1942, the fiddle traditional “The 8th of January,” became the melodic basis for Johnny Horton’s strike “The Fight of New Orleans.”

Quick Facts

Full Name Sid Hemphill
Died 1963
Nationality American
Music Songs The Carrier Line, Devil's Dream, The Eighth of January, Emmaline, Take Your Time, Walk in the Parlor, Skillet Good and Greasy, Hog Hunt, Old Devil's Dream, Come on Boys, Let's Go to the Ball, John Henry, After the Ball Is Over, Arkansas Travler

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