Lead Belly

Lead Belly

Huddie William Ledbetter (January 20, 1888 – December 6, 1949) was an iconic American folk and blues musician, and multi-instrumentalist, notable for his strong vocals, his virtuosity on the twelve-string guitar, and the songbook of folk standards he introduced.

He is best known as Lead Belly. Though many releases list him as "Leadbelly", he spelled it "Lead Belly". This is also the usage on his tombstone, as well as of the Lead Belly Foundation. In 1994 the Lead Belly Foundation contacted an authority on the history of popular music, Colin Larkin, editor of the Encyclopedia of Popular Music, to ask if the name "Leadbelly" could be altered to "Lead Belly" in the hope that other authors would follow suit and use the artist's correct appellation.

Although Lead Belly most commonly played the twelve-string, he could also play the piano, mandolin, harmonica, violin, and accordion. In some of his recordings, such as in one of his versions of the folk ballad "John Hardy", he performs on the accordion instead of the guitar. In other recordings he just sings while clapping his hands or stomping his foot.

The topics of Lead Belly's music covered a wide range of subjects, including gospel songs; blues songs about women, liquor, prison life, and racism; and folk songs about cowboys, prison, work, sailors, cattle herding, and dancing. He also wrote songs concerning the newsmakers of the day, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler, Jean Harlow, the Scottsboro Boys, and Howard Hughes.

In 2008, Lead Belly was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

Read more about Lead Belly:  Technique, Legacy

Other articles related to "lead belly":

Take This Hammer - Commercial Recordings After 1940
... was issued as on commercial 78-rpm single by Lead Belly in 1940 and again in 1942 ... In his performance on this record, Lead Belly added a "haah" at the end of each line, explaining in his spoken introduction, "Every time the men say 'haah', the hammer falls ... and we swing, and we sing." In saying "we", Lead Belly was undoubtedly referring to his many years an inmate of the notorious prison farm in Angola, Louisiana ...
See See Rider - Versions of The Song
... It was recorded by Big Bill Broonzy, Mississippi John Hurt, Lead Belly, Lightnin' Hopkins, Peggy Lee and many others ... The name of the singer was Lead Belly...I found an old Folkways record by Lead Belly...And I listened to it obsessively ... Lead Belly's music opened something up for me ...
Lead Belly - Discography - Other Compilations
... Best (1989, BGO Records) - contains Lead Belly's recordings made for Capitol Records in 1944 in California. 21, 1948 (2000, Document Records) - contains Lead Belly's intimate performance at a private party in late 1948 in Minneapolis ... Take This Hammer (2003, RCA Victor) - collects all 26 songs Lead Belly recorded for RCA in 1940, half of which feature the Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet A ...
List Of Lead Belly Songs
... The following is a partial list of songs performed by Lead Belly ... Lead Belly, born Huddie Ledbetter, was an American folk and blues musician active in the 1930s and 1940s ...
Lots More Blues, Rags And Hollers - Track Listing
... Black Dog" (Traditional) – 211 "Whomp Bom" (John Koerner) – 304 "Black Betty" (Lead Belly) – 59 "Honey Bee" (McKinley Morganfield) – 459 "Crazy Fool" (Koerner) – 340 "Keep ...

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