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Important Recordings 1934-1949

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Important Recordings 1934-1949
Important Recordings 1934-1949


Huddie Ledbetter (1889-1949) was a man so full of life he could only be felled by fate. His was one of the loudest voices on record and his playing of the twelve-string guitar belied his physical strength. Here was a man who had worked for years on prison gangs. Years later it was easy for him to dip into this wellspring of stamina to perform for stupefied middle-class white audiences. He is best remembered for a body of songs that he discovered, adapted or wrote, including "Goodnight Irene", "Rock Island Line", "Midnight Special" and "Cotton Fields". But he was also an early example of a folksinger whose background had brought him into direct contact with the oral tradition by which folk music was handed down. He is usually viewed as a blues singer, but blues (a musical form he actually predated) was only one of the styles that informed his music. He was a profound influence on folk performers of the 1940s such as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, who in turn influenced the folk revival, the UK 'skiffle' movement of the '50s, and the development of rock music from the 1960s onward, which made his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 wholly appropriate. This 4CD, 96 track set features all of his most important recordings, from early field recordings made by John & Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress, through a variety of studio sessions in different locations to a performance from his last major concert at the University of Texas.


  1. Name
  2. Western Cowboy
  3. Blind Lemon Blues
  4. Midnight Special
  5. Irene
  6. C.C. Rider
  7. Governoe O.K. Allen
  8. Julie Ann Johnson
  9. I'm Sorry Mama
  10. Take A Whiff Of Me
  11. Boll Weevil
  12. The Titanic
  13. Green Corn
  14. Po' Howard
  15. Da Kalb Blues
  16. Frankie And Albert
  17. Queen Mary
  18. The Hindenburg Disaster Part 1
  19. The Hindenburg Disaster Part 2
  20. Leaving On The Morning Train Blues
  21. The Bourgeois Blue
  22. Roberta Part 1
  23. Roberta Part 2
  24. Packin; Trunk Blues
  25. C.C. Rider
  26. Becky Deem, She Was A Gamblin' Girl
  27. Honey, I'm All Out And Down
  28. Four Day Worry Blues
  29. You Can't Lose Me, Charlie
  30. New Black Snake Moan
  31. Alberta
  32. Baby, Don't You Love Me No More
  33. Ox Drivin' Blues
  34. Death Letter Blues Part 1
  35. Death Letter Blues Part 2
  36. Kansas City Papa
  37. Red River Blues
  38. Forth Worth And Dallas Blues
  39. You Don't Know My Mind
  40. Daddy I'm Coming Back To You
  41. My Friend Blind Lemon
  42. Mr. Tom Hughes' Town
  43. Shorty George
  44. Matchbox Blues
  45. Yellow Jacket
  46. T.B. Woman Blues
  47. Pig Meat Papa
  48. Bull Cow
  49. My Baby Quit Me
  50. Frankie And Albert Part 1
  51. Frankie And Albert Part 2
  52. Poor Howard-Green Corn
  53. The Gallis Pole
  54. Pick A Bale Of Cotton
  55. Whoa Back, Buck
  56. Midnihgt Special
  57. Rock Island Line
  58. Good Morning Blues
  59. T.B. Blues
  60. Red Cross Store Blues
  61. Sail On, Little Girl, Sail On
  62. I'm On My Last Go-Round
  63. New York City
  64. Grey Goose
  65. Stew Ball
  66. Take This Hammer
  67. Can't You Line 'Em
  68. Ham An' Eggs
  69. On A Monday
  70. John Henry
  71. How Long
  72. Ain't You Glad
  73. John Hardy
  74. Where Did You Sleep Last Night
  75. Pretty Flowers In Your Backyard
  76. In New Orleans
  77. Outskirts Of Town
  78. Mother's Blues (Little Children Blues)
  79. In The Evenin' When The Sun Goes Down
  80. Jim Crow Blues
  81. Mr Hitler
  82. Corn Bread Rough
  83. Ella Speed
  84. Rock Island Line
  85. Tell Me Baby
  86. Take This Hammer
  87. Irene (Goodnight Irene)
  88. On A Christmas Day
  89. Backwater Blues
  90. Eagle Rock Rag
  91. Sweet Mary Blues
  92. Grasshoppers In My Pillow
  93. Diggin' My Potatoes
  94. Defense Blues
  95. Easy Rider
  96. Pigmeat
  97. Howard Hughes
  98. Shine On Me
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