Mournful is the best way to describe Leadbelly’s voice in the song popularized by Nirvana on their live album, MTV Unplugged in New York. While Nirvana’s version captured the attention of audiences, the original lament was recorded by a canonized blues artist whose given name was Huddie William Ledbetter....more
Posts Tagged: Leadbelly
Perhaps no other blues artist in history, along with contemporaries like Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, and Lightnin’ Hopkins, had such an influence on later generations of musicians as Blind Lemon Jefferson. After growing up in Texas and reputedly playing on the streets from eight at night until four in the morning, Jefferson was one of the first to record solo blues performances in the early 1920s....more
I’m spending National Poetry Month at the Millay Colony, former home of Edna St. Vincent Millay. My colleague and friend, poet and writer Jen Fitzgerald, will be writing the Mixtape column this month—and we are all lucky for it. Enjoy Jen’s robust selections and I’ll see you in May....more
It was a dark and stormy night in April 1936. The city of Tupelo, Mississippi was ravaged by a tornado that killed more than 230 people. It is ranked as the fourth deadliest tornado in U.S. history.
Tupelo is also the birthplace of Elvis Presley....more
“We are all students of memory. Each of us has our own truth to tell…”...more