Ragtime Texas



Songster Henry Thomas is something of a shadowy figure but he left a legacy of recordings made in the late 1920's. By then he was in his mid fifties which made him one of the oldest of the very early artists of that ilk that were recorded. He is thought to have been born around 1874 in Sandy, Texas, and almost certainly spent his youth on the road, and riding the railroad, busking on street corners and in the bars of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas. He accompanied himself on guitar, but strummed it like a banjo, and also played the quills, a type of small panpipe made from canes and indigenous to some parts of Mississippi. He total recording output was made between 1927 and 1929 for Vocalion and consisted of a range of folk songs including reels, ballads, spirituals and 'blues'. He died shortly after his final recording, aged about 56 years old.

    Bull Doze Blues






Blind Sid Hemphill on quills