Blind Willie McTell (May 5, 1898 – August 19, 1959) was an influential American blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He was a twelve-string finger picking Piedmont blues guitarist, and recorded 149 songs between 1927 and 1956.
John Lee Hooker (August 22, 1917 – June 21, 2001) was an American blues singer-songwriter and guitarist, born in Coahoma County near Clarksdale, Mississippi. Hooker began his life as the son of a sharecropper, William Hooker, and rose to prominence performing his own unique style of what was originally closest to Delta blues. He developed a 'talking blues' style that was his trademark. Though similar to the early Delta blues, his music was metrically free.
Huddie William Ledbetter(January 1888 – December 6, 1949) was an iconic American folk and blues musician, notable for his strong vocals, his virtuosity on the 12-string guitar, and the songbook of folk standards he introduced. He is best known as Leadbelly or Lead Belly. Though many releases list him as "Leadbelly," he himself spelled it "Lead Belly. " This is also the usage on his tombstone, as well as of the Lead Belly Foundation.
Robert Leroy Johnson (May 8, 1911 – August 16, 1938) was an American blues musician, among the most famous of Delta blues musicians. His landmark recordings from 1936–1937 display a remarkable combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that have influenced generations of musicians. Johnson's shadowy, poorly documented life and death at age 27 have given rise to much legend, including a Faust myth.
Eddie James "Son" House, Jr. (March 21, 1902 – October 19, 1988) was an American blues singer and guitarist. House pioneered an innovative style featuring strong, repetitive rhythms, often played with the aid of slide guitar, and his singing often incorporated elements of southern gospel and spiritual music. House was an important influence on Muddy Waters and also on Robert Johnson.
Thomas Andrew Dorsey (July 1, 1899, Villa Rica, Georgia - January 23, 1993, Chicago). He is known as "the father of black gospel music" and was at one time so closely associated with the field that songs written in the new style were sometimes known as "dorseys. " Earlier in his life he was a leading blues pianist known as Georgia Tom. As formulated by Dorsey, gospel music combines Christian praise with the rhythms of jazz and the blues.
Big Bill Broonzy (26 June 1898 – 14 August 1958) was a prolific African American blues singer, songwriter and guitarist. His career began in the 1920s when he played Country blues to mostly black audiences. Through the ‘30s and ‘40s he successfully navigated a transition in style to a more urban blues sound popular with white audiences.
Robert Lockwood, Jr. , also known as Robert Junior Lockwood, (March 27, 1915 – November 21, 2006) was an American blues guitarist who recorded for Chess Records among other Chicago labels in the 1950s and 1960s. He is best known as a longtime collaborator with Sonny Boy Williamson II, and for his work in the mid 1950s with Little Walter Jacobs.
Joseph Lee Williams (October 16, 1903 - December 17, 1982), billed throughout his career as Big Joe Williams, was an American Delta blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, notable for the distiinctive sound of his nine-string guitar. Performing over four decades, he recorded such songs as "Baby Please Don't Go", "Crawlin' King Snake" and "Peach Orchard Mama" for a variety of record labels, including Bluebird, Delmark, Okeh, Prestige and Vocalion.
Charlie Patton, better known as Charley Patton (Between April 1887 & 1891 – April 28, 1934) is best known as an American Delta blues musician. He is considered by many to be the "Father of the Delta Blues" and therefore one of the oldest known figures of American popular music. He is credited with creating an enduring body of American music and personally inspiring just about every Delta blues man (Palmer, 1995).
Alonzo "Lonnie" Johnson (February 8, 1899 – June 16, 1970) was an American blues and jazz singer/guitarist and songwriter who pioneered the role of jazz guitar and is recognized as the first to play single-string guitar solos.
Saunders Terrell, better known as Sonny Terry (24 October 1911, Greensboro, North Carolina - 11 March 1986, Mineola, New York) was a blind blues musician. He was most widely known for his energetic blues harmonica style, which frequently included vocal whoops and hollers, and imitations of trains and fox hunts.
R. L. Burnside (November 23, 1926 – September 1, 2005), born Robert Lee Burnside, was a North Mississippi hill country blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist who lived much of his life in and around Holly Springs, Mississippi. He played music for much of his life, but did not receive much attention until the early 1990s.
Geeshie Wiley (sometimes rendered as Geechie Wiley) was a female United States blues singer and guitar player. She recorded three records in the early 1930s. There are no known photographs or images of the artist in existence.
Bukka White (November 12, 1906 – February 26, 1977) was a delta blues guitarist and singer. "Bukka" was not a nickname, but a misspelling of White's given name Booker, by his second (1937) record label . White himself disliked the spelling "Bukka" and preferred to be called "Booker".
Blind Boy Fuller (born Fulton Allen) (July 10, 1907 - February 13, 1941) was an American blues guitarist and vocalist. He was one of the most popular of the recorded Piedmont blues artists with rural Black Americans, a group that also included Blind Blake, Josh White, and Buddy Moss.
Richard "Rabbit" Brown (c.1880 – c.1937) was an American blues guitarist and composer. His music was characterized by a mixture of blues, pop songs, and original topical ballads. He recorded six record sides for Victor Records on May 11, 1927.
Reverend Gary Davis, also Blind Gary Davis, (April 30, 1896 – May 5, 1972) was a blues and gospel singer and guitarist who was also proficient on the banjo and harmonica. His unique finger-picking guitar style influenced many other artists and his students in New York included Stefan Grossman, David Bromberg, Roy Book Binder, Woody Mann, Nick Katzman, Dave Van Ronk, Tom Winslow, and Ernie Hawkins.