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Blind Lemon

Discussion in 'Through-the-Lens Club' started by Fred, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. Fred

    Fred Lifetime Member Millennium Member

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    Blind Lemon Jefferson was an early Delta Blues artist. During a business trip to Dallas, a friend took me to a small town graveyard to show me this. Notice the harmonica someone placed on the headstone. My friend tells me it's been there for quite some time.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. MrsKitty

    MrsKitty

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    I have never heard of him. I am not much on blues tho, but I have liked all that I have heard.

    Harmonica. :)
     

  3. Fred

    Fred Lifetime Member Millennium Member

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    He's somewhat obscure, or maybe I should say regional. I don't think he ever had wide spread recognition.
     
  4. Bones3

    Bones3 Retired Member

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    [​IMG]

    Jefferson had an intricate and fast style of guitar playing and a particularly high-pitched voice. He was a founder of the Texas blues sound and an important influence on the next generation of blues singers and guitarists, including Leadbelly and Lightnin Hopkins. He was the author of many tunes covered by later musicians, including the classic "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean". Another of his tunes, "Matchbox Blues", was recorded more than 30 years later by the Beatles, albeit in a country & western version credited to Carl Perkins, who himself did not credit Jefferson on his 1955 recording. Given this influence, it is unfortunate that many of the details of his life remain shrouded in mystery, perhaps forever; even the only known picture of him, shown here, is heavily retouched. However, at the time, "race music" and its white cousin, "hillbilly music", were not considered to be worthy of consideration as art, rather as a low-cost product to be sold and soon forgotten.

    Jefferson died penniless in Chicago in December 1929. The cause of death is unknown, rumours swirled that a jealous lover poisoned his coffee, but a more likely scenario is that he died due to a heart attack after being disoriented during a snowstorm (another scenario is that he froze to death after becoming disoriented during a snowstorm). Paramount Records paid for the return of his body to Texas by train, accompanied by pianist Will Ezell. Jefferson was buried at Wortham Negro Cemetery (now Wortham Black Cemetery). Far from his grave being kept clean, it was unmarked until 1967, when a Texas Historical Marker was erected in the general area of his plot, the precise location being unknown. By 1996 the cemetery and marker were in poor condition, but a new granite headstone was erected in 1997.
     
  5. Fred

    Fred Lifetime Member Millennium Member

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    Thanks, Bones3, for that bio.
     
  6. Bones3

    Bones3 Retired Member

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    You are more than welcome, sir. Anytime. :)
     
  7. spober

    spober

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    INTERESTING, VERY INTERESTING INDEED!
     
  8. Eyescream

    Eyescream hates you

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  9. Eyescream

    Eyescream hates you

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    For those interested, here's the song he wrote that the line of text on his headstone came from:

    See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
    Blind Lemon Jefferson
    recording of 1928


    Well, there's one kind of favor I'll ask of you
    Well, there's one kind of favor I'll ask of you
    There's just one kind of favor I'll ask of you
    You can see that my grave is kept clean

    And there's two white horses following me
    And there's two white horses following me
    I got two white horses following me
    Waiting on my burying ground

    Did you ever hear that coffin' sound
    Have you ever heard that coffin' sound
    Did you ever hear that coffin' sound
    Means another poor boy is under ground

    Did you ever hear them church bells tone
    Have you ever hear'd them church bells tone
    Did you ever hear them church bells tone
    Means another poor boy is dead and gone

    Well, my heart stopped beating and my hands turned cold
    And, my heart stopped beating and my hands turned cold
    Well, my heart stopped beating and my hands turned cold
    Now I believe what the bible told

    There's just one last favor I'll ask of you
    And there's one last favor I'll ask of you
    There's just one last favor I'll ask of you
    See that my grave is kept clean
     
  10. Fred

    Fred Lifetime Member Millennium Member

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    Thanks, Eyescream, appreciate you posting it!:thumbsup: