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Charley Patton, Vol. 3 (1929-1934)

Charley Patton

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Customer Reviews

This May Be Where It All Started

Classic blues. Some say the blues had a baby and they called it Rock'n'Roll. Charley Patton lived most of his life on the plantation. He was a popular entertainer with the field hands. Henry Sloan taught Charley the blues. W.C. Handy heard him while waiting on a train in Tutwiler, Mississippi in 1903. He brought it to the masses in theatres and cabarets backed by jazz bands. Meanwhile back at the ranch, this music was barely heard in the rural remote Delta Region of Mississippi. Charley went on to teach the blues to Eddie "Son" House, Howlin' Wolf, Tommy Johnson, Bukka White and Willie Brown to name a few musicians who you may know. Probably not. Record company scouts who scoured the region approached Charley to record his sound in the late 20's. They needed records to play on the latest invention the "phonograph." You got free records when you bought the phonograph. The depression hit and phonographs didn't sell. His last recordings from 1934 contain premonition songs of his death like "Poor Me' and "Oh Death." Charley died on April 28th, 1934. His death was not reported in the local, regional, or national press. He laid the groundwork for the genre we now call the "Blues."


Born: 1891 in Bolton, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '20s, '30s

If the Delta country blues has a convenient source point, it would probably be Charley Patton, its first great star. His hoarse, impassioned singing style, fluid guitar playing, and unrelenting beat made him the original king of the Delta blues. Much more than your average itinerant musician, Patton was an acknowledged celebrity and a seminal influence on musicians throughout the Delta. Rather than bumming his way from town to town, Patton would be called up to play at plantation dances, juke joints,...
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