Hambone WILLIE






There is very little reliable recorded biographical detail about Willie Newbern (sometimes spelt Newborn). He was born in Tennessee at the end of the 19th century, probably in or near Brownsville. There is no information on his early life but it is known that he was performing around the Brownsville area when he was in his teens, playing at picnics and parties often in the company of Yank Rachell. A blues songster and guitar player, there are only six known recordings of his work although one of these is the first-ever rendition of the Delta classic "Roll and Tumble Blues." In addition he recorded songs like "She Could Toodle-Oo" and "Hambone Willie's Dreamy-Eyed Woman's Blues" which suggest an old-fashioned rag influence. He certainly toured some of the southern USA states in the company of 'Sleepy' John Estes, (from whom most of the known information about Newbern originated), making his recordings in Atlanta in 1929. Estes has reported that Newbern was a fractious and ill-tempered man who was frequently involved in arguments and fist fights. At some point this led to him being imprisoned and it is said that a beating there led to his death in 1947.

    Roll And Tumble Blues