Blind Blake

Blind Blake

Infobox musical artist
Name = Blind Blake

Img_capt = The only known photograph of Blind Blake, circa 1927
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Arthur Blake
Born = ca. 1893
Died = 1933?
Origin = Jacksonville, Florida, USA (uncertain)
Instrument = Guitar, Vocals
Genre = Piedmont blues, ragtime, country blues
Years_active =
Label =
Associated_acts = Irene Scruggs
Notable_instruments =

"Blind" Blake (born Arthur Blake, circa 1893, Jacksonville, Florida; died: circa 1933) was an influential blues singer and guitarist. He is often called "The King Of Ragtime Guitar".

Blind Blake recorded about 80 tracks for Paramount Records in the late 1920s and early 1930s. He was one of the most accomplished guitarists of his genre with a surprisingly diverse range of material. He is best known for his distinct guitar sound that was comparable in sound and style to a ragtime piano. [ [ The King Of Ragtime Guitar: Blind Blake & His Piano-Sounding GuitarBy Jas Obrecht] ]

Little is known about his life. His birthplace was listed as Jacksonville, Florida by Paramount Records but that is not firmly established. On one recording he slipped into a Geechee dialect, prompting speculation that he was from the Georgia coastal region. Nothing is definitely known of his death and even his name is not certain. During recordings he was asked about his real name, which he gave as Blind Arthur Blake, also listed on some of the song credits. This strengthens his case on his real name, although it has been suggested by some that his real name was Arthur Phelps. There is only one surviving photograph of him in existence.

His first recordings were made in 1926 and his records sold very well. His first solo record was "Early Morning Blues" with "West Coast Blues" on the B-side. Both are considered excellent examples of his ragtime-based guitar style and are prototypes for the burgeoning Piedmont blues. Blake made his last recordings in 1932, the end of his career aided by Paramount's bankruptcy. It is often said that the later recordings have much less sparkle and, allegedly, Blind Blake was drinking heavily in his final years. It is likely that this led to his early death at only 40 years. (The exact circumstances of his death are not known; Reverend Gary Davis said in an interview that he had heard Blake was killed by a streetcar.) [cite news
url =
title = Reverend Gary Davis Interview
accessdate = 2006-08-04
publisher = Stefan Grossman

His complex and intricate finger picking has inspired Reverend Gary Davis, Jorma Kaukonen, Ry Cooder, Ralph McTell and many others. French singer/songwriter Francis Cabrel refers to Blind Blake in the song "Cent Ans de Plus" on the 1999 album "Hors-Saison." Cabrel cites the artist as one of a number of blues influences, including Charley Patton, Son House, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson (musician), Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon and Ma Rainey.

Other people that used the same name

It should be noted that on a few records where white jazz guitarist Eddie Lang sat in with African American groups, the record companies listed Lang as "Blind Blake". Most of those recordings, principally with Lonnie Johnson, gave Lang the name "Blind Willy Dunn".

There is also an entirely different artist who recorded multiple LPs under the name "Blind Blake". Alphonso "Blind Blake" Higgs was one of the most popular singers in The Bahamas in the 1950s, leading the house band at the Royal Victoria Hotel. His records were spread all over the U.S. by tourist fans, and several of his songs became folk standards. (Even Johnny Cash was influenced, basing his hit "Delia" on an old blues ballad from Georgia that Blake had adapted into a calypso).


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Blind Blake — „Blind“ Blake (* 1896 in Newport News, Virginia; † 1. Dezember 1934 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) [1], auch Blind Arthur, eigentlich Arthur Blake, war ein Blues Sänger und Gitarrist. Leben Über Blakes Leben ist sehr wenig bekannt. Sein bürgerlicher… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Blind Blake — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Blind Blake, cuyo nombre real era Arthur Blake, nació alrededor del año 1893 en Jacksonville, Florida y falleció alrededor del año 1933. Fue un cantante y guitarrista de blues estadounidense muy influyente,… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Blind Blake — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Blake. Blind Blake Blind Blake vers 1927 Naissance 1893? né à Jacksonville en Floride …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Blind Blake — Блайнд Блэйк Имя при рождении Arthur Blake Дата рождения 1893 год(1893) Место рождения Джэксонвилл (Флорида) Дата смерти …   Википедия

  • Blind Blake — Arthur Phelps …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • Discographie de Blind Blake — Discographie complète de Blind Blake. 1926 Chicago Juillet 1926, Leola Wilson (voix), Blind Blake (guitare) Dying Blues Ashley St Blues Aout, octobre et novembre 1926, Blind Blake (voix et guitare) Early Morning Blues West Coast Blues Too Tight… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Blind (Begriffsklärung) — Blind bezeichnet: Blindheit als Eigenschaftswort ein Fehlen von Sehfähigkeit Blind (Band) eine deutsche Musikgruppe Blind (Poker) ein Mindesteinsatz beim Kartenspiel Poker Blind (Ill), ein französischer Fluss Blind ist der Nachname folgender… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Blake Alphonso Higgs — (* 1915 in Matthew Town, Inagua, Bahamas; † 1986), besser bekannt als Blind Blake , war zwischen den 1930er und 1960er Jahren der bekannteste aller Musiker des Goombay/Calypso Stils auf den Bahamas. Die meiste Zeit seiner Karriere war Blind Blake …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Blind Jefferson — „Blind“ Lemon Jefferson (* September 1893 in Coutchman, Texas; † Dezember 1929 in Chicago, Illinois) war ein in den 1920er Jahren sehr populärer und einflussreicher US amerikanischer Bluessänger und gitarrist. Er gilt als bedeutendster Vertreter… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Blake — steht für: Blake (Familie), eine Familie aus dem irischen Galway F. C. Blake Co., ein ehemaliger britischer Automobilhersteller Blake (Band), eine finnische Band Blake Knoten, einen Kletterknoten eine in der Chirurgie genutzte Drainageform, siehe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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