Leadbelly

Huddie Ledbetter (23 January 1888-6 December 1949) was a leading American blues singer and guitarist. His songbook contained a large number of standard folk tunes, most adapted from previous sources. Though many of his posthumous releases list him as "Leadbelly," he himself spelled it "Lead Belly." This is also the usage on most of his original records, tombstone, as well as of the Lead Belly Foundation. Leadbelly was born in Mooringsport, Louisiana, and spent time in and out of prison most of his life. ...show more

Huddie Ledbetter (23 January 1888-6 December 1949) was a leading American blues singer and guitarist. His songbook contained a large number of standard folk tunes, most adapted from previous sources. Though many of his posthumous releases list him as "Leadbelly," he himself spelled it "Lead Belly." This is also the usage on most of his original records, tombstone, as well as of the Lead Belly Foundation. Leadbelly was born in Mooringsport, Louisiana, and spent time in and out of prison most of his life.

In 1933, serving a sentence for attempted murder, musicologists John and Alan Lomax "discovered" him on a field recording tour sponsored by the Library of Congress. That summer, he was pardoned by the governor of Lousiana after recording his plea for pardon on a record, together with "Good Night Irene". Leadbelly went on to make hundreds of recordings of all sorts of different songs: country, blues, spirituals, reels, and work chants. His songs have been covered by Mark Lanegan, The Animals, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Nirvana, Lonnie Donegan, Johnny Cash, Gene Autry, The Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, British Sea Power, Ram Jam, Ry Cooder, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Half Man Half Biscuit, Tom Waits, Shocking Blue , Nirvana and The White Stripes.. ...show less