Blind Willie McTell Biography

Born: May 05, 1901 in Thomson, GA, United States

Died: August 19, 1959 in Milledgeville, GA, United States

McTell was a prolific 12-string blues guitarist and vocalist who recorded a great deal of 78s for the Victor, Columbia, ARC, OKeh, and Decca labels during the 1920s and '30s, often performing under pseudonyms. In 1940, the field recordist John A. Lomax located McTell working as a street performer in his homebase of Atlanta, Georgia, and recorded him for the Library of Congress. McTell's career revived briefly in 1949 when he recorded sessions for the Atlantic and Regal labels, but was never able to re-establish in these post-war years the level of fame he had enjoyed during the heyday of the "race records." McTell died of a stroke in 1959.

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