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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

The Blues Collection - Leadbelly

It's the long awaited (by some) return of the Blues Collection with an absolute legend.
Huddie William Ledbetter is better known as Lead Belly or Leadbelly - I'm going for Leadbelly as that's how he is referred to on the Blues Collection CD.
Two tracks which are older than my mother and two absolute belters.
Recorded in New York on 15th June 1940.
First up is the traditional spiritual work song Pick a Bale of Cotton.Given that he was born in Jeter plantation near Mooringsport, Louisiana you could imagine him singing this in the fields as a youngster.
Then we have Rock Island Line a song first recorded by John Lomax being sung by prisoners in Arkansas prison.
Perhaps he sung it himself when serving time at Imperial Farm, Sugartown, Texas for murder (he was subsequently pardoned) or indeed Louisiana State Penitentiary where he subsequently spent time for attempted murder.

Just brilliant

Leadbelly - Pick a Bale of Cotton

Leadbelly - Rock Island Line


  1. Weren't both of these recorded by Lonnie Donegan? I think he as a big Huddie fan. Not sure Lonnie was ever accused of murder, though

  2. I absolutely adore Leadbelly, one of the last great storytellers.

  3. I have to go to Angola (Louisiana State Pen) for work every or four months. I always end up spending a lot of time with a few inmates. The athletes and musicians that are there or have been there is a regular topic.

    None of them ever know who Leadbelly was. He just never has gotten the attention he deserves from inmates or otherwise.

    Bourgeoisie Blues, Rock Island Line....balls out.

  4. Gotta see this.