“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)