Garfield Akers was born in Brights, Mississippi in 1901 and was already performing locally when he moved to Hernando as a teenager. He stayed in that area most of his life and worked as a sharecropper, playing at weekends at house parties and dances, although he toured with Frank Stokes on the Doc Watts Medicine Show. Akers met up with Joe Callicott in the 1920's and they became lifelong friends and partners, the two of them taking turns to play lead and second guitar as they sang blues. Garfield made his first and best known recording, "Cottonfield Blues Parts 1 & 2", in Memphis in 1929 with Callicott on second guitar. The pair were taken to Memphis by Jim Jackson, a Hernando resident and neighbour of Callicott, and already a recording star. Akers and Callicott played together for more than 20 years finally going their own ways in the mid 1940's. Nothing is known about Akers after the pair split as a performing duo although it is believed that he died around the end of the 1950's or the beginning of the 1960's, possibly in Memphis.


     Garfield Akers - Cottonfield Blues


Mississippi Joe Callicott
was born in Nesbit, Mississippi, in 1900. He spent his whole life in the area south of Memphis, mostly in partnership with Akers. The major influence on his music was neighbour Jim Jackson and also Frank Stokes, with whom he sometimes worked in Memphis. Before his partnership with Akers, he worked the medicine show circuit south of Memphis, often with Stokes, specialising in 'field holler songs'. It was through Stokes that Callicott met Walter Furry Lewis, with whom he would later record. Callicott made a  solitary recording in 1930, "Fare Thee Well Blues", paired with "Travelling Mama Blues'. He carried on playing solo after splitting with Akers but he virtually ceased playing at the end of the 1950's when Akers died. He was 're-discovered' in 1967 by field researcher George Mitchell when he made further recordings and also appeared at the 1968 Memphis Country Blues Festival. He died in his hometown of Nesbit in 1969.


    Joe Callicott - Travelling Mama Blues