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July 24th, 2008

Memphis Minnie

Memphis Minnie is considered by many to be the best female blues singer of all time.  A gifted guitar and banjo player since her early teenage years, she not only ranks along with the blues’ best female artists, but also along with the best male blues artists as well.

Around 1904, Minnie (born Lizzie Douglas) and her family moved to a farm in Wall, Mississippi, which is just south of Memphis, Tennessee.  She received her first guitar in 1905 as a Christmas present.  She was soon playing guitar and banjo, and sometime during her early teens began running away from home to play on Memphis’ Beale Street.  During the war, she began touring the south with a Ringling Brothers show to gain experience. With traces of both Mississippi John Hurt’s alternating thumb style and Lonnie Johnson’s single note arpeggios, Minnie’s style is as distinctive as her voice is smoldering.

[stream] Memphis Minnie – I Called You This Morning

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[ download ] Memphis Minnie – Bumble Bee



  1. i’m really into all of your pre-war folk & blues posts, especially anything revolving around the country blues and all things bluegrass.. there’s many great gems out there! thank’s for sharing the knowledge and putting great work out there to be heard! keep it up

    Comment by jack a roe — July 24, 2008 @ 9:59 pm
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