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Dan Pickett

Dan Pickett

Dan Pickett


Dan Pickett (born as James Founty, Pike County, Alabama, August 31, 1907 - Boaz, Alabama, August 16, 1967) was an American country blues singer and guitarist. What threw discographers and historians off for so many years was the fact that he used the performing name of Dan Pickett. Some thought that he might be Charlie Pickett who recorded for Vocalion in 1937, but Charlie was from Tennessee. In the summer of 1949 Pickett went to Philadelphia and recorded fourteen songs for Gotham Records. Read more on Last.fm
Dan Pickett (born as James Founty, Pike County, Alabama, August 31, 1907 - Boaz, Alabama, August 16, 1967) was an American country blues singer and guitarist. What threw discographers and historians off for so many years was the fact that he used the performing name of Dan Pickett. Some thought that he might be Charlie Pickett who recorded for Vocalion in 1937, but Charlie was from Tennessee. In the summer of 1949 Pickett went to Philadelphia and recorded fourteen songs for Gotham Records. Five singles were issued by the label while the rest of the titles weren't unearthed until four decades later (with some alternate takes of some issued titles to boot).

Things started falling into place when a letter from Founty to an attorney named Charles R. Paul dated July, 1950 turned up. Founty claimed that the label had defaulted on royalty payments, but upon investigation royalties had not been included in the contract between Founty & Gotham. The label paid him for the session and that was it.

The contract also stipulated that he not record any of the same titles for another label for three years. That should of have been the last of their worries, because Founty, probably disgusted with the whole affair, never recorded again. He was a delightful performer, however, with his repertoire being covers of 20's and 30's songs making him a throwback to an earlier time. No one is certain what he did after his one and only session as far as his life.

He passed away in Boaz, Alabama on August 16, 1967, a few days short of his 60th birthday. Back in the 60s some of the most highly prized 78s among blues collectors were the rare Gotham records of Dan Pickett. These were valued, not only for their rarity but for the fact that they were among the finest commercial recordings of country blues in the post war era. At that time no one could have imagined that there would be an album available of Pickett's recordings but, here it is and not only do we get all of Pickett's sides issued on 78 rpm but four previously unissued titles and most of it from original master tapes thanks to Gotham's foresight in recording on to tape as early as 1948. Pickett, whose real name was apparently James Founty was a stunning performer.

A distinctive vocalist he had a remarkable vocal technique in which he sometimes compressed an amazing amount of syllables into one line. He was also a stunning guitar player performing in either a rhythmic percussive picking style or a lovely melodic slide style stunning accentuating his playing with rapping on the guitar. The songs are mostly versions of songs originally recorded in the 30s including Leroy Carr's How Long , Buddy Moss's Ride To A Funeral In A V-8 , Blind Boy Fuller's Let me Squeeze Your Lemons (which Pickett calls Lemon Man and others including a spellbinding version of 99 1/2 Won't Do Pickett's only gospel performance. Pickett transforms the songs into totally unique ones. Reissuers have unearthed little information about Dan Pickett (AKA James Founty).

He may have come from Alabama, he played a nice slide guitar in a Southeastern blues style, and he did one recording session for the Philadelphia-based Gotham label in 1949. That session produced five singles, all of which have now been compiled along with four previously unreleased sides on a reissue album that purports to contain Pickett’s entire recorded output — unless, of course, as some reviewers have speculated, Dan Pickett happens also to be Charlie Pickett, the Tennessee guitarist who recorded for Decca in 1937. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..

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