CHARLIE PATTON.
1891 - 1934.


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Charlie was born in west central Mississippi, probably on the Heron's Place plantation.

In 1900 the family moves about 100 miles north to Sunflower county.

By 1906 at the age of 15 Charlie is working on the Dockery plantation he marries Minnie Toy.

In 1909 having borrowed a guitar to learn to play, Charlie soon becomes an accomplised musician and by 1916 is considered one of the finest guitarists in Sunflower County but as a result of a family argument he is forced to leave Dockery's plantation but returns in 1918.

Three years later he leaves again this time after being dismissed and in 1923 becomes popular in the barrelhouses of Mississippi.

In 1925 Charlie's back in Dockery's again.

By 1928 his stock piece 'Maggie' is recorded by Tommy Johnson as 'Maggie Campbell Blues'.

Charlie makes his first recordings, for the Paramount record label in 1929 in Richmond, Indiana which continue into 1930 and again he is thrown off Dockery's for the third and final time.

In 1934 Charlie is taken to New York by talent scout W.R. Calaway to record for the American Record Company. In three days at the end of January he records 29 songs.

On the 28th April 1934 Charlie dies in Indianola, Mississippi.

When LP's were issued back in the Mid 1960's some 30 years after Charlie died, there was still great interest in his work.

With the songs being recorded in the late 1920's the quality is poor but I like "Going to Move to Alabma", "Running Wild Blues" and "Revenue Man Blues".


Dockery Farm

Dockery's, where Charlie was to spend about half his life, was, like many plantations in the Mississippi Delta, less a farm than a self-sufficent community with its own commissay, post office, blacksmith's shop, railroad deport, school, churches and graveyard. It even issued its own money.

City Jail

Belzoni jail, where Patton spent a brief period in early January 1934. From there, it was on to New York for what turned out to be his final session before his death in April of that year.

Charlie Patton

Click inside for Larger Pictures.



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