Peg Leg Howell
Peg Leg Howell
In 1923 he moved to Atlanta, Georgia and began playing on street corners, but also served a period in prison for bootlegging liquor. In 1926, he was heard playing on the streets of Atlanta and was recorded for the first time by Columbia Records. They released "New Prison Blues", written while in prison and the first country blues to be issued on the label. Over the next three years Columbia recorded him on several occasions, often accompanied by a small group including Henry Williams on guitar and Eddie Anthony on fiddle. His recorded repertoire covered ballads, ragtime, and jazz, as well as blues.
Anthony's vigorous dance playing gives us a rare view of the black string-band music that was almost obliterated by the craze for recording blues guitarists. Howell continued to play around the Atlanta area for several years, but also began selling bootleg liquor again. After the mid 1930s he only performed occasionally and, in 1952, his left leg was removed as a result of diabetes, confining him to a wheelchair. A single track by Howell was issued on The Country Blues in 1959, and in 1963 he was "rediscovered" in dire poverty in Atlanta by folklorist and field researcher George Mitchell and his high-school class-mate, Roger Brown. They recorded Howell at the age of 75 with the results issued on LP by Testament Records thirty-four years after his last recorded sessions, one of Mitchell's first field-recording sessions in his long career.
Howell died in Atlanta in 1966. 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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