Independent Historian

Austin Barney is an independent historian and musician. His Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology is from Columbia University, and he has been a musician for over 26 years. His interest in the roots of modern popular music has evolved into a blog dedicated to Blues, Folk, Gospel, Ragtime and other defining American genres from the pre-Civil War period through World War II. In addition, Austin writes, performs and records acoustic blues, rock, and electronic music. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

William James [“Willie”] Dixon (1915-1992)

Willie Dixon was a pioneering Chicago blues musician, bandleader, songwriter, arranger, producer, and philanthropist. He was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1915 to Anderson Bell and Daisy Dixon, was married to Marie Booker, and had 12 children (five with wife Marie, and seven with Eleanora … Read MoreWilliam James [“Willie”] Dixon (1915-1992)

Howlin’ Wolf/Chester Arthur Burnett (1910-1976)

Chester Arthur Burnett, better known by his stage name Howlin’ Wolf, was a blues performer and bandleader born in White Station, Mississippi to Leon “Dock” and Gertrude Young Burnett. He was married to Lillie Burnett and is survived by two stepchildren, Barbra Marks and Bettye … Read MoreHowlin’ Wolf/Chester Arthur Burnett (1910-1976)

Edward James House (“Son”), Jr. (1902-1988)

Eddie James House Jr., better known as “Son House,” was an influential blues performer born in Lyon, Mississippi to Eddie House, Sr. and Maggie House. He was the middle child of three siblings, with an older brother, Rathel House, and a younger brother, Lee Jackson … Read MoreEdward James House (“Son”), Jr. (1902-1988)