John Henry Barbee
John Henry Barbee
The record sold well enough to cause Vocalion to call on Barbee again, but by that time he had left his last known whereabouts in Arkansas. Barbee explained that this sudden move was due to his evading the law for shooting and killing his girlfriend's lover. He later found out that he had only injured the man, but by the time this was discovered, Barbee had moved on from making a career out of playing music. Barbee did not show up again in the music industry until the early 1960s, whereby this time the blues revival was in full swing. Willie Dixon searched out for Barbee, and found him working as an ice-cream server in Chicago, Illinois.
In 1964 he joined the American Folk Blues Festival on an European tour with fellow blues players, including Lightnin' Hopkins and Howlin' Wolf. In a case of tragic circumstances, Barbee returned to the United States and used the money from the tour to purchase his first automobile. Only ten days after purchasing the car, he accidentally ran over and killed a man. He was locked up in a Chicago jail, and died there of a heart attack a few days later, November 3, 1964, 11 days before his 59th birthday. He is interred in the Restvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois. On May 11, 2010, the third annual White Lake Blues Festival took place at the Howmet Playhouse Theater in Whitehall, Michigan. The concert was organized by executive producer Steve Salter, of the non-profit organization Killer Blues, in order to raise monies to honor Barbee's unmarked grave with a headstone.
The event was a success, and a stone was placed in June 2010. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
show me more