MANCE LIPSCOMB.

1895 - 1976.


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Mance is born on 9th April 1895 in Navasota, Texas. His mother buys him his first guitar when he was 12.

In 1911 after his father, who has helped teach him fiddle and guitar, leaves home for another woman, Mance has to support his mother.

At the age of 18 Mance marries Elnora Kemps.

Blind Willie Johnson comes to Navasota, and Mance acquires several songs from him and, in return, helps the guitarist to tune his instrument.

After travelling to Dallas to pick cotton, Mance hears Blind Lemon Jefferson play and picks up the song 'See That My Grave is Kept Clean' from him.

In 1922 according to Mance, Jimmie Rodgers comes through Navasota and asks Mance to tour with him as a support act, Mance turns him down.

Firmly established as a blues performer at events in Navasota, in 1948 Mance ensures he keeps up to date with the latest developments in music by acquiring an electric guitar.

Mance packs in the farming life in 1956 to move to Houston where he plays in juke joints and works in a lumber yard.

After an accident at work, Mance receives enough compensation to return to Navasota in 1960 and live by independent means. Chris Strachwitz records two albums' worth of songs Mance Lipscomb: Texas Sharecropper and Songster become the first albums released on Strachwitz' Arhoolie record label.

The following year Mance plays his first big festival, at Berkeley in front of 41,000 people, then in 1965 he appears at the Newport Folk Festival.

Mance appears in two films 'The Blues According to Lightnin' Hopkins' in 1966 and 'A Well-Spent Life' in 1971, and due to failing health Mance retires from performing in 1974.

Mance dies in Navasota from heat trouble on 30th January 1976.


Mance Lipscomb..

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