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Play The Blues - Carolina Blues Guitar Men

Updated on March 13, 2013

Mostly South Carolina Blues Men ...

My favorite old blues guitarists are mostly unsung heroes. Funnily enough, the three guitarists featured here were South Carolina based. Floyd Council, Pink Anderson (Pink Floyd borrowed their names) and Scrapper Blackwell.

Floyd Council wasn't incredibly well known as a performer in his own right, but often played in studio recording sessions playing behind 'stars' like Blind Boy Fuller, a fellow South Carolina artists . His guitar was syncopated and seemed like a marriage between Piedmont ragtime and a Texas acoustic style.

Pink Anderson (I don't believe they ever played together or even crossed each other's path!) was a ragtime player and appeared in wandering medicine shows.

Scrapper Blackwell was an incredibly inventive guitarist and produced many memorable pieces, such as Blues Before Sunrise and Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out.

His song 'Kokomo Blues' was recorded by Robert Johnson by the name 'Sweet Home Chicago'. Scrapper provided classics which were to provide inspiration for later masters of blues music.

Floyd Council

Floyd Council (Born September 2, 1911 and died May 9, 1976)  became a well-known performer of the Piedmont style blues sound, which was well liked throughout the southeastern corner of America during the nineteen thirties.

Floyd began playing in the 1920s, appearing with two brothers, Leo and Thomas Strowd calling themselves "The Chapel Hillbillies". He additionally played on some studio sessions with Blind Fuller in the 30s. His throat were partly immobilized after a stroke in the 60s, but it was reported that his mind was unaffected. Unfortunately, he was never able to recover his playing skills.

Council died in 1976 after a heart attack,  just after moving to Sanford, N Carolina.

Blues Guitar Lessons - Floyd Council Video ( (The Devil's Daddy In-Law)

Pink Anderson

Pink Anderson

Pink was born and raised in Greenville South Carolina. Having trained himself in some popular instruments, he started to play for Dr. Frank Kerr, who had a little 'business' which was named the Indian Remedy Company in 1914 to sing for the crowds while Kerr sold his home made ' elixir'.

In the town of Spartanburg, Anderson Simeon "Blind Simmie" Dooley in 1916, who taught him how to play guitar - Pink already had a little knowledge, after playing in string bands. When he was not playing with Dr. Kerr, he and Dooley would play to small gatherings.

Problems with his heart eventually forced Anderson to retire from the road in 1957.

Suffering a stroke in 1954, which forced him to virtually stop playing, and never again would he play with his old skill. He passed away in October 1974, of a heart attack at the age of 74. He's buried in Spartanburg, where he was born. Pink Anderson had a son, known as Little Pink Anderson, is a blues guitarist living in Vermillion, South Dakota.

Learn Blues Guitar - CC&O Blues - Pink Anderson Video

Jim Bruce Blues Lessons


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On with the show (such as it is) ...

Scrapper Blackwell

Born in Syracuse, Carolina, Scrapper Blackwell had fifteen brothers and sisters. Partly Cherokee, he was brought up and spent the majority of his years in Indianapolis. He was 'christened' with his familiar name, "Scrapper", by his grandmother, due to his fiery ways. His father played the fiddle, but Blackwell taught himself how to play the guitar .

Even when he was a teenager, Blackwell was a musician part-time, wandering as far away as Chicago. He was unsociable individual, generally keeping to himself and difficult to get along with. In spite of this, Blackwell put together a duo with piano player Leroy Carr, whom he met in Indiana during the 1920s, which was a musically creative working relationship.

Blackwell additionally recorded on his own , including "Kokomo Blues" which became "Old Kokomo Blues" (Kokomo Arnold) before it was transformed again into "Sweet Home Chicago" by Robert Johnson. Scrapper and Carr toured throughout the mid-west and through the South between 1928 and 1935 - stars of the blues scene, and they recorded over 100 tracks.

After Carr died, Blackwell went back to performing in the late 1950s and was first recorded in June 1958 by Colin C. Pomroy.

He was ready to restart performing the blues again when he was killed during a mugging in an Indianapolis alley. He was 59. Even though the crime was never solved, police took into custody his neighbour for the murder. Blackwell was interred in New Crown Cemetery, Indianapolis.

How To Play Blues Guitar - Down And Out - Scrapper Blackwell Video

Carolina Blues on Amazon

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