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Preachin' the BluesThe Life and Times of Son House$
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Daniel Beaumont

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195395570

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195395570.001.0001

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The Blues Blowed My Spirit Away

The Blues Blowed My Spirit Away

Apostasy at a Frolic

(p.39) Chapter 3 The Blues Blowed My Spirit Away
Preachin' the Blues

Daniel Beaumont

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the beginnings of Son House's music career. It recounts the story of House's fateful stroll that led him to a house party, where he heard the strange and captivating sound of a slide guitar playing, a sound made popular through blues music. Although his statements about this event were unclear, House mentioned Frank Hopkins, Willie Wilson, and James McCoy being influential to him as a musician. Two songs he learned from McCoy would later become among his most popular: “My Black Mama” and “Preachin' the Blues”. The chapter also narrates House's killing of Leroy Lee as an act of self-defense, for which he was imprisoned sometime around 1928 and 1929. Some of the most prominent people in House's later life and music career include Charley Patton, Willie Brown, and Robert Johnson.

Keywords:   Son House, slide guitar, blues music, My Black Mama, Preachin' the Blues, Charley Patton, Willie Brown, Robert Johnson

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