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Jailhouse Blues

Sleepy John Estes

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Biography

Born: January 25, 1899 in Ripley, TN

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '60s

Big Bill Broonzy called John Estes' style of singing "crying" the blues because of its overt emotional quality. Actually, his vocal style harks back to his tenure as a work-gang leader for a railroad maintenance crew, where his vocal improvisations and keen, cutting voice set the pace for work activities. Nicknamed "Sleepy" John Estes, supposedly because of his ability to sleep standing up, he teamed with mandolinist Yank Rachell and harmonica player Hammie Nixon to play the house party circuit in...
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Jailhouse Blues, Sleepy John Estes
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