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Tony Hollins

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Cited as a major influence by no less than John Lee Hooker, Delta blues singer/guitarist Tony Hollins was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi around the turn of the century. Few details are known of Hollins' life; he cut his first recordings for OKeh in 1941, with his fluid, insistent performance of "Crawlin' King Snake" serving as the blueprint for Hooker's own later rendition. His "Traveling Man Blues" was also later appropriated by Hooker for his "When My Wife Quit Me"; clearly admired by his peers, Hollins never caught on as a popular favorite, and after another session in 1951, he gradually drifted out of music, focusing instead on his day job as a barber. He died in Chicago in 1959. ~ Jason Ankeny

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