Monday, January 20, 2014
Happy birthday, Lead Belly Ledbetter
It is the birthday of blues legend Huddie William (Lead Belly) Ledbetter (1888), the self-styled king of the 12-string guitar who also played piano, mandolin, harmonica, violin, and accordion. He influenced folksingers Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, and generations of musicians who followed, and who covered his songs. He rose from a southern field hand to become a well known performer and recording artist. Here is Lead Belly singing one of his most enduring songs, Goodnight, Irene, which was covered by Seeger’s group, The Weavers, and sold two million records.