Lead Belly / Jan 20, 1888 - Dec 6, 1949

Multi-instrumentalist Huddie Ledbetter was especially noted for his playing of the 12-string guitar and soulful delivery of topical lyrics. He did four stints in prison (including one for murder) and even broke out of jail once. Twice he was pardoned for his talents. He became a popular figure on the lefty folk scene ("Bourgeois Blues") and was one of the first folk-blues artists to tour Europe. Songs like "Goodnight Irene", "Midnight Special", "Black Betty", "I Got Stripes", "Boll Weavil" and others are still often covered by a variety of bands to this day.

Tagged: blues, Celebrate Icons, folk, guitar, Lead Belly

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