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The Mount Everest of Blues Singers

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Album Review

Offering a quite a few more songs than other budget-priced compilations, Mount Everest of Blues Singers serves up thirty tracks worth of folk, blues, and prison tunes both traditional and penned by Leadbelly himself. Released on Rev-Ola Records, this collection features thirteen selections from the artist's 1941 RCA recordings, including essential hits like "Midnight Special", "Alabama Bound", "Goodnight, Irene", and "Easy Rider". While the album offers a pretty good introduction to Leadbelly's later recordings, those looking for a larger sampling of the artist's earlier works (such his 1933 Library of Congress recordings) might have to pack up and look for another compilation. Other than that, Mount Everest serves as a decent starting point for those unfamiliar with this influential folk singer.


Born: 20 January 1888 in Mooringsport, LA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '10s, '20s, '30s, '40s

Huddie Ledbetter, known as Lead Belly, was a unique figure in the American popular music of the 20th century. Ultimately, he was best remembered for a body of songs that he discovered, adapted, or wrote, including "Goodnight, Irene," "Rock Island Line," "The Midnight Special," and "Cotton Fields." But he was also an early example of a folksinger whose background had brought him into direct contact with the oral tradition by which folk music was handed down, a tradition that, by the early years of...
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