King 's mother White's mother and King's grandmother were sisters. He played National resonator guitars , typically with a slide , in an open tuning. He was one of the few, along with Skip James , to use a crossnote tuning in E minor , which he may have learned, as James did, from Henry Stuckey. He also played piano, but less adeptly. White started his career playing the fiddle at square dances. He claimed to have met Charlie Patton soon after, but some have doubted this recollection. He first recorded for Victor Records in Victor published his photograph in His gospel songs were done in the style of Blind Willie Johnson , with a female singer accentuating the last phrase of each line.
Nine years later, while serving time for assault, he recorded for the folklorist John Lomax. His version of the oft-recorded song  "Shake 'Em on Down" is considered definitive; it became a hit while White was serving time in Mississippi State Penitentiary , commonly known as Parchman Farm.
He wrote about his experience there in " Parchman Farm Blues ", which was released in He served in the US Navy from to , after which he settled in Memphis, Tennessee , and worked outside music. White had recorded the song simply because his other songs had not particularly impressed the Victor record producer. It was a studio composition of which White had thought little until it re-emerged thirty years later.
The postcard was forwarded to Memphis, where White worked in a tank factory. Fahey and Denson soon traveled there to meet him, and White and Fahey remained friends for the rest of White's life. White was at one time also managed by Arne Brogger, an experienced manager of blues musicians.
Later in his life, White was friends with musician Furry Lewis. At Home , released on the Arcola label. White died of cancer in February , at the age of 70, in Memphis, Tennessee. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Aberdeen Mississippi Blues. Bukka White. Baby Please Don't Go. New Orleans Streamline. Parchman Farm Blues. Remembrance of Charlie Patton Talking. Shake 'Em On Down. I Am In the Heavenly Way.
The Atlanta Special. Drunk Man Blues Piano. Army Blues. World Boogie. Midnight Blue. Old Man Walking Blues. Aberdeen Mississippi Blues Bukka White. New Orleans Streamline Bukka White. Parchman Farm Blues Bukka White. An important influence on his cousin B.
King, White enjoyed a second career as a performer and recording artist beginning in Various documents list his birth date as November 12, between and , but the earliest census data suggest His father John White, a multi-instrumentalist who performed at local gatherings, gave him his first guitar and other local musicians taught him his signature bottleneck slide technique. He further developed his skills on guitar and piano during stays in Tallahatchie County in the Delta and St.
At sixteen White married for the first of several times, but was soon back to rambling across the South and Midwest. Recording agent Ralph Lembo of Itta Bena arranged for White to record his first blues and gospel songs in in Memphis.
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