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Huddie Ledbetter

January 29, 1885 - December 6, 1949

What did you bring me?
To keep me from the gallis pole

The legendary Huddie Ledbetter, the larger than life black American folk singer, Expert twelve string guitar player, with a claimed repertoire of some 500 songs, onetime companion of bluesman Blind Lemon Jefferson, a long-time inmate of Southern penitentiaries, and later darling of the East coast white liberal establishment. Raconteur, womanizer, brawler, braggart and in latter days a devotee of left-wing causes.

The number one man on the number one gang
on the number one farm in the state.

--Pete Seeger

Goodnight Irene

from Goodnight, Irene