Leadbelly, Lead Belly or Huddie Ledbetter, whatever you want to call him, was a murderer and one of the most important singers of his day. A controversial figure and giant of a man.
He wrote many songs of great importance. He set off the whole skiffle scene with his Rock Island Line – covered by Lonnie Donnegan.
Leadbelly was a brave man. He was one of the few black singers who dared to record songs about the racism inherent in society. His Bourgeois Blues is such an important statement.
He wrote so many other important tracks – Midnight Special, Goodnight Irene, Boll Weevil, Black Girl and Pick a Bale of Cotton – all covered numerous times.
Roy Harper said that Leadbelly was the basis of the whole Folk Music Scene.
Today I’m going to play Leadbelly – a master of the 12-String guitar – and here some authentic music that means something!
I discovered this rare radio show with two of my heroes!