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Walter Roland

Despite a comparatively prolific recording profession which yielded up to 40 solo edges and a group of celebrated collaborations with vocalist Lucille Bogan, pianist/singer Walter Roland continues to be among the blues’ most elusive and mysterious numbers. Likely given birth to in or about Birmingham, AL, circa 1900, he 1st emerged around the city’s blues circuit through the 1920s, presumably operating in the same circles as the similarly enigmatic pianist Jabo Williams; an experienced, flexible pianist whose repertoire went the gamut from sluggish, gut-wrenching blues to exuberant boogie-woogies, Roland was also a persuasive vocalist and a good great guitarist. He visited NEW YORK 3 x between 1933 and 1935 to record for ARC; in this same period he also followed Bogan (right now contacting herself Bessie Jackson), additionally saving with Sonny Scott and Josh Light. After 1935, nevertheless, Roland appears to have slipped off the facial skin of the planet earth — his following activities and supreme fate remain unidentified.

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