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Noah Lewis

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A key figure on the Memphis jug band circuit of the 1920s, singer and harpist Noah Lewis was born on September 3 of either 1890 or 1895 (depending on sources) in Henning, Tennessee. Upon relocating to Memphis, he teamed with Gus Cannon, becoming an essential component of Cannon's Jug Stompers; the group made their debut recordings for the Paramount label in 1927, with several more sessions to follow prior to their final date in late 1930. On a series of sides cut in the first week of October 1929, Lewis made his debut as a name artist, cutting three blistering harmonica solos as well as "Going to Germany," which spotlighted his plaintive vocal style. Later recording with Yank Rachell and John Estes, as the Depression wore on Lewis slipped into obscurity, living a life of extreme poverty; his death on February 7, 1961 was a result of gangrene brought on by frostbite. ~ Jason Ankeny

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