Saturday, January 03, 2009
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Blind Boy Fuller
Song:I'm Climbin' On Top Of The Hill
Album:East Coast Piedmont Style
Blind Boy Fuller was as influential to the Piedmont style of blues as Robert Johnson was to the Mississippi style. And like Johnson, he died prematurely and there are limited recordings. This Columbia/Legacy comp should do it. He was born Fulton Allen July 10, 1907. He learned to play guitar as a child but was blind by the time he married his wife Cora as a teen. Fuller was earning a living as a street singer by 1928. His music was heavily influenced by ragtime and Fuller studied guitarist Gary Davis. He also played frequently with musicians like Sonny Terry & Floyd Council. In 1935, Burlington, NC record store manager and talent scout James Baxter Long got Fuller a record contract with the American Recording Company. It was actually Long who named him Blind Boy Fuller and renamed washboard player George Washington Bull City Red. This comp consists of Fuller's ARC recordings. He also recorded for Decca but returned to ARC later. Fuller was supposed to be part of John Hammond's landmark 1938 concert From Spirituals To Swing but Fuller had been jailed for shooting his wife in the leg. Sonny Terry went instead. Blind Boy Fuller's death on Feb. 13, 1941 at age 33 was due to complications from heavy drinking. He's probably more popular posthumosly than he ever was when he was living. Coluimbia even recorded Brownie McGhee as Blind Boy Fuller II to capitalize. Blind Boy Fuller's influence on the Piedmont style of blues is wide ranging. Obviously there's no video footage of Fuller but Jim Clark has done several animated films of blues artists so here's Blind Boy Fuller performing Cryin' Shame Blues.