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

Sam “Lightnin’” Hopkins (1912-1982)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Sam “Lightnin’” Hopkins, blues singer, guitarist, and songwriter, was born in Centerville, Texas in 1912 to sharecropping parents whose exact identities are unknown. At eight, Hopkins met legendary bluesman Blind Lemon Jefferson at a social function in Buffalo, Texas. An accomplished … Read MoreSam “Lightnin’” Hopkins (1912-1982)

William Lee Conley “Big Bill” Broonzy (1893-1958)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Although he struggled throughout his life to produce a sufficient income, Big Bill Broonzy played an integral role in launching the global popularity of Southern blues.  Born to sharecropper parents on June 26, 1893 in Scott, Mississippi, Broonzy grew up in … Read MoreWilliam Lee Conley “Big Bill” Broonzy (1893-1958)

“Mississippi” John Smith Hurt (ca. 1892-1966)

Born in Teoc, Mississippi in 1892 but raised in Avalon, Mississippi, “Mississippi” John Hurt spent the majority of his life employed as a farm hand. Though he briefly recorded in the 1920s, it was not until the 1960s that his music was widely distributed and … Read More“Mississippi” John Smith Hurt (ca. 1892-1966)

Taj Mahal (Henry St. Claire Fredericks) (1942- )

Blues, jazz, and folk musician Taj Mahal was born Henry St. Claire Fredericks in Harlem, New York on May 17, 1942.   He was raised in Springfield, Massachusetts by musically gifted parents. Mahal’s father was a jazz musician and his mother a gospel singer.  As a … Read MoreTaj Mahal (Henry St. Claire Fredericks) (1942- )

Huddie (Leadbelly) Ledbetter (1888-1949)

Huddie Ledbetter was born January 15, 1888, on the Jeter Plantation near Mooringsport, Louisiana. He was an only child who quickly became interested in music when he received his first instrument (an accordion) from his uncle Terrell. In 1903at the age of 15, Ledbetter he … Read MoreHuddie (Leadbelly) Ledbetter (1888-1949)