Friday, 4 October 2013
Granny's Got the Blues 1 - Bukka White
The young Bukka or Booker T Washington White was born in Houston Mississippi. His father was a railroad worker and part time fiddle player which meant that the young boy was surrounded by music from a very young age. When he was nine his father gave him a guitar for a birthday present and from there on Bukka started to develop at a rapid pace. He left home when he was thirteen and went to Chicago where he met guitar player Johnny Smith and together they would play whatever paying gigs they could find.
The recordings were not a success and Bukka didn't records again until 1937 when Big Bill Broonzy led him to Lester Mellrose who arranged for Bukka to travel to Chicago to cut two sides for Vocalion Records. However Bukka was on bail following an incident where he shot a man who tried to assault him, and the trip to Chicago was against bail conditions. Bukka was arrested and thrown into the notorious Parchman Farm Penitentiary. One of the tracks Bukka recorded, Shake em Down became a hit when he was in prison.
Bukka White died of cancer in 1977.