Creative Person of the Week

2 Oct

“Blind” Lemon Jefferson (September 24, 1893 – December 19, 1929) was a blues singer and guitarist from Texas. He was one of the most popular blues singers of the 1920s, and has been titled “Father of the Texas Blues.  Lemon
Jefferson was born blind near Coutchman, Texas. Jefferson was one of eight children born to sharecroppers, Alex and Clarissa Jefferson.  Jefferson began playing the guitar in his early teens, and soon after he began performing at picnics and parties. He also became a street musician, playing in East Texas towns in front of barbershops and on corners.  By the early 1910s, Jefferson began traveling frequently to Dallas, where he met and played with fellow blues musician Leadbelly.  In Dallas, Jefferson was one of the earliest and most prominent figures in the blues movement developing in the Deep Ellum area of Dallas. Jefferson likely moved to Deep Ellum in a more permanent fashion by 1917, where he met Aaron Thibeaux Walker, also known as T-Bone Walker.  Jefferson taught Walker the basics of blues guitar, in exchange for Walker’s occasional services as a guide.

Jefferson’s singing and self-accompaniment were distinctive as a result of his high-pitched voice and originality on the guitar.  His recordings would later
influence such legends as B.B. King, T-Bone Walker and Robert Johnson.

As his fame grew, so did the tales regarding his life, often personally involving the teller. T-Bone Walker states that as a boy, he was employed by Jefferson to lead him around the streets of Dallas. Victoria Spivey  elliptically credits Jefferson as someone who “could sure feel his way around.

(Excert taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_Lemon_Jefferson)

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