SAM MONTGOMERY, also known as the 'King of Spades'. Montgomery recorded a dozen titles for Arc in April 1936 (eight were issued). It's clear from the sound of the recordings that Sam played a National guitar, a sign of success as at that time Nationals cost $35-$100,, a fortune in those days. "Where the Sweet Oranges Grow" is of the family of blues inspired by Kokomo Arnold's "Old Origninal Kokomo Blues" (1934). Rather than Kokomo, Sam is bent on Florida as his paradise. Seven months after Sam recorded "Sweet Oranges" Robert Johnson would record a similar "Sweet Home Chicago" with its celebrated geographic gaffe placing the windy city, (ie.Chicago) in the 'land of California".
BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON, one of the earliest country bluesmen to be recorded. Some of his Paramount singleswere the most widely sold blues records of the 20's. Jefferson traveled extensively through East Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. His music was influenced by trips to the Delta....and he influenced the young musicians of that region. "Stocking Feet Blues"
CHARLEY PATTON, born on a Mississippi plantation, Patton spent most of his adult years on Dockery's Plantation. It was at Dockery's that Patton was discovered by H.C.Spear, a freelance talent scout. Patton recorded for Paramount between 1929-32. Patton cut a mythic figure in the history of delta blues. He inspired people like Son House and Robert Johnson. He died of heart failure on Heathman-Dedham Plantation near Holly Ridge Mississippi. "Screamin' & Hollerin' the Blues"
SAM COLLINS, born in Louisiana and raised not far north, in McComb, Mississippi along Highway 51. 'Crying Sam Collins' was among the first bottlenect guitarists to record. He was recorded extensively in 1927 and 1931. Collins' titles appeared under a variety of pseudonyms; 'Salty Dog Sam', 'Big Boy Woods' and funniest of all, 'JellyRoll Hunter'. Collins left Mississippi for Chicago in the late 1930's. "Slow Mama Slow"
SON HOUSE, Eddie James "Son" House was born outside of Clarksdale Mississippi on March 21, 1902. At age 3 or 4 his family moved to New Orleans where he remained for about twenty years. House returned to Mississippi when he was around twenty-three. He started to play guitar around 1927, learning the rudiments from a local guitarist named Willie Wilson who played bottlenect style. Son soon started playing throughout the state at picnics, birthday parties, dances, levee camps, and other events, usually without his close friend, guitarist Willie Brown. In 1929 the great Charley Patton got a recording contract for Son with Paramount. House traveled to Paramount Studio in Grafton, Wisconsin where he recorded 6 pieces. While in Grafton he met Blind Lemon Jefferson, probably the most famous blues artist of the era. After moving to Rochester, New York in 1949, Son completely gave up music in 1956 after his long-time partner and friend Willie Brown died. Fortunately Son was conviced to record again in 1965. Son performed until his death in 1988. "Levee Camp Moan", "Louise Magee", "Death Letter Blues"
WILLIE BROWN, a friend and contemporary of Son House, Charley Patton and Robert Johnson. Brown was a moving force in early delta blues, performing for many years with Son House. Willie Brown was also performing with Robert Johnson on the night Johnson took his fatal dose from an opened pint. Willie claimed to have warned Johnson about the dangers of drinking from an already opened bottle.
BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON's slashing bottleneck and fiery vocals clearly demonstrate the emotional appeal of the slide guitar in gospel music. His eloquent recorded performances mix the sacred and the profane in a unique expression of religious fervor. "God Don't Never Change"
ROBERT JOHNSON, mention delta blues and Robert Johnson's name is the first to come to mind. Johnson's legend casts a long shadow over the history of the blues and of contemporary rock music. His myth is mixed with fact and fiction....a pact with the devil made at a crossroads, his soul in return for fame......a damned soul sent to the devil by a pint of poisened whiskey, the gift of a jealous husband. The details of the man's personal history may be mysterious, but one this is indisputable and that is his musical legacy and it's influence on guitarist ranging from Muddy Waters to modern guitar legends like Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. "Come On In My Kitchen", "Little Queen of Spades", "If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day", "Love In Vain", "Walking Blues", "Traveling Riverside Blues", "Crossroads"