Son House: The Lost King Of The Delta Blues


Intense is the one word that describes Son House (21 March 1902 – 19 October 1988)and his version of the blues. He was a major influence on Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson, like both of them, when Son sang the blues you had to believe him. Born Eddie James House Jr, his father played in the family brass band. House grew up on a plantation near Clarksdale. He was preaching in church by the time he was 15, as well as working a variety of jobs. He taught himself to play the guitar around 1923 and was soon playing house rent parties and local picnics. In 1928 he served time in the infamous Parchman Farm prison after which he worked with Charley Patton playing levee camps and country dances around Clarksdale, Mississippi. It was through Patton that Son House recorded for the first time. This was for Paramount Records in Grafton Wisconsin in 1930 where he was accompanied by Willie Brown; House cut a total of 10 songs of which 8 were issued. Both men soon returned to the Delta, working at various jobs and playing at dances, juke joints and picnics throughout the rest of the 1930’s. House’s next recordings were with Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress in 1941 when he did 6 songs at Lake Cormorant Mississippi; it was during the same few days that Lomax recorded Muddy Waters at Stovall’s Plantation. Lomax again recorded House in 1942, and it was soon after this that House left the Delta and moved to New York. Musically Son House was not heard of again until 1964, when he was rediscovered in a poor state of health, with a drink problem, living in an apartment with his wife of 30 years. When Bukka White played the Newport Folk Festival in 1963 he told Dick Waterman a writer, part time promoter and blues fan that House was alive and that White had seen him in Memphis. Waterman decided to go in search of the blues, he takes up the story, ‘I gathered up two guys and came down to Mississippi in the summer of 1964.’ Looking back in hindsight, that terrible summer of Mississippi burning with Voter Registration and George Wallace running for President. Looking back over it – three Jewish kids had a yellow Volkswagen with New York plates, we had like no sane reason to be here but we came down and we were looking for Robert Johnson, Son House, Skip James, any of them we could find. …”
udiscover (Audio/Video)
Preacher, A Killer: the incredible story of Son House, king of the Delta Blues (Video)
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1 Response to Son House: The Lost King Of The Delta Blues

  1. Kenny Wilson says:

    Reblogged this on Kenny Wilson's Blog and commented:
    This is from a great blog I follow called 1960s:Days of Rage. I actually met Son House in 1967 at the De Montfort Hall, Leicester. I was 16. he was an amazing character who could still sing and play wonderfully!

    Like

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