It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora One subscription will expire shortly.
close
Your Pandora One trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora One.
Close
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
Change Skin

We created Pandora to put the Music Genome Project directly in your hands

It’s a new kind of radio –
stations that play only music you like

 
Create an account for free. Register
Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station

Blind Blake

Blind Blake is a figure of enormous importance in American music. Not only was he one of the greatest blues guitarists of all-time, Blake seems to have been the primary developer of "finger-style" ragtime on the guitar, the six-string equivalent to playing ragtime on the piano. Blake mastered this form so completely that few, if any, guitarists who have learned to play in this style since Blake have been able to match his quite singular achievements in this realm. Blind Blake was the most frequently recorded blues guitarist in the Paramount Records' race catalog; indeed, Paramount waxed him as often as they could, as he was their best-selling artist. By the time the Paramount label folded in the fall of 1932, Blake had recorded an amazing 79 known sides for them under his own name and had contributed accompaniments to Paramount recordings by other artists such as Gus Cannon, Papa Charlie Jackson, Irene Scruggs, Ma Rainey and Ida Cox to name only a few.

One would surmise, given Blake's importance, celebrity status, popularity and sizeable recorded output that we would know something about the man. And after more than five decades of searching conducted by experts on behalf of Blind Blake, we still don't know anything verifiable about Blake which he doesn't tell us on his records. Practically all of what is "known" about Blind Blake outside of that is a combination of conjecture, rumor, slander and nonsense. At one point a theory was advanced that Blind Blake's true name was "Arthur Phelps" and it is under this name that Blake's entry is filed in Sheldon Harris' Blues Who's Who. But the theory is easily debunked by Blake himself, who states on his 1929 recording "Blind Arthur's Breakdown" that his name is "Arthur Blake." He briefly breaks into Geechee dialect during the course of "Southern Rag," and this advanced a theory that Blake was really born in the Georgia Sea Islands and spoke Geechee as a first language, accounting for his "uncomfortable negro dialect" on records like "Early Morning Blues." But there is nothing wrong with Blake's "negro dialect," thus it was easy to disprove this ridiculous notion.

Blind Blake is known to have had family in the area of Jacksonville, Florida and was likely born there; Blake may have grown up in Georgia. Blake was first seen in Chicago in the mid-1920s. His birth date is assumed to be sometime between 1895-1897, as the only existing photo of Blind Blake, taken at his first Paramount session in August, 1926, shows a man of about thirty. Interviews with some of the musicians personally acquainted with Blake only reveal that he had a seemingly inexhaustible appetite for liquor. No one has discovered any reliable account of what happened to Blind Blake after his last Paramount session in June 1932. The story that has Blake murdered in Chicago shortly after his Paramount date did not hold up after an intensive search of local police files. The most reasonable notion about what might've happened to Blind Blake after 1932 is that he drifted back to Jacksonville and lived a few years more, with 1937 suggested as a possible date of death. In the summer of 1935, Mary Elizabeth Barnicle led an Archive of Folk Song expedition into the area where Blake is likely to have resettled and canvassed it for black musicians, yet never encountered him.

Many of the recordings made by Blind Blake are singled out as classic early blues performances, too many to be listed in detail here. But a few that stand out include "Early Morning Blues," "Too Tight," "Skeedle Loo Doo Blues," "That Will Never Happen No More," "Southern Rag," "Diddie Wa Diddie," "Police Dog Blues," "Playing Policy Blues" and "Righteous Blues." Several of Blind Blake's original tunes are by now country-blues standards, and judging from the further developments in Atlanta-based Piedmont blues, Blake's influence there must've been formidable, even if it came only by way of recordings. Anyone who hears Blind Blake can't help but be astonished by his sincerity, his gentle, off-the-cuff humor and the sheer effortlessness with which he plays some of the most treacherously complex finger-work on the face of creation.

Blind Blake is not to be confused, incidentally, with Blake Higgs, a Bahamian Calypso artist who also recorded as "Blind Blake." ~ Uncle Dave Lewis, Rovi
full bio

Comments

First time I heard Blind Blake...awes o m e . . . g r e a t blues...uniq u e . . . b l a c k , down to earth.
His syncopation and tempo changes are unreal. I don't even think Segovia himself could touch Blind Blakes fingerstyle skill.
Slappin draggin thumb and 2 fingers flicking...u n m a t c h e d . . . h e changes tempo and never misses..if I had to say who was the most phenominal it would be Blake.
his grave has been found this year last month! crazy good, nobody will ever top him
There"s a big bug in my beer
Mama, that's tooooo tight!
CalSag1
Wow!
mb19512002
One of kind, and one of all time greats, that left a legacy for all of us guitar players to learn from, and try to live up to. Blind Blake set the bar.
The best that ever played.
sdover38
Wow, absoulutly one of the best peid players around
HE IS THE ABSOLUTE BEST PIEDMONT PLAYER HANDS DOWN, NO QUESTIONS ASKED.
The best blues players are the most enigmatic it seems...
BLIND BLAKE IS SO F-N COOL, I LOVE HIS MUSIC! too bad no one else comments

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[114, 85, 70, 94, 114, 79, 71, 112, 66, 68, 73, 77, 73, 88, 119, 109, 73, 73, 119, 68, 106, 72, 120, 93, 93, 123, 68, 95, 70, 80, 73, 69, 73, 65, 95, 115, 68, 110, 65, 126, 95, 92, 91, 89, 106, 71, 126, 85, 81, 79, 99, 115, 115, 103, 115, 101, 104, 93, 96, 86, 87, 104, 92, 99, 99, 65, 105, 110, 85, 79, 118, 80, 104, 108, 97, 115, 103, 120, 67, 110, 75, 110, 110, 111, 64, 90, 77, 100, 79, 115, 79, 87, 80, 82, 123, 65, 106, 111, 74, 89, 88, 117, 87, 89, 109, 88, 119, 120, 90, 77, 71, 77, 81, 69, 79, 101, 113, 102, 123, 66, 70, 112, 120, 71, 85, 92, 86, 70, 65, 100, 74, 86, 82, 126, 110, 64, 82, 66, 84, 78, 67, 123, 94, 82, 74, 73, 114, 69, 64, 121, 96, 118, 92, 98, 92, 93, 78, 72, 110, 106, 120, 122, 121, 83, 68, 109, 98, 97, 75, 124, 67, 125, 95, 123, 91, 85, 65, 113, 86, 83, 109, 79, 112, 75, 107, 92, 117, 125, 72, 72, 96, 71, 101, 113, 110, 66, 115, 90, 92, 99, 105, 122, 85, 90, 125, 68, 92, 101, 107, 104, 82, 80, 72, 110, 76, 69, 104, 117, 106, 105, 104, 90, 75, 81, 67, 120, 65, 111, 104, 87, 68, 107, 86, 97, 121, 79, 120, 95, 68, 116, 77, 110, 105, 70, 82, 122, 125, 107, 117, 115, 116, 112, 83, 64, 76, 121, 65, 103, 88, 90, 82, 110, 99, 82, 101, 84, 88, 110, 115, 78, 81, 76, 79, 121, 67, 115, 126, 105, 107, 114, 79, 64, 79, 119, 105, 108, 81, 124, 78, 81, 117, 110, 86, 93, 90, 67, 71, 95, 71, 117, 122, 118, 91, 112, 114, 122, 108, 89, 74, 78, 117, 87, 124, 84, 103, 112, 112, 119, 122, 99, 80, 75, 86, 120, 75, 106, 124, 92, 89, 97, 76, 77, 102, 119, 121, 75, 112, 109, 72, 99, 118, 126, 67, 77, 91, 105, 73, 112, 90, 80, 90, 104, 100, 70, 87, 67, 100, 113, 66, 113, 92, 88, 114, 121, 99, 119, 79, 77, 65, 81, 64, 124, 80, 76, 118, 95, 112, 94, 80, 67, 117, 124, 126, 76, 71, 106, 99, 110, 122, 77, 97, 85, 64, 96, 106, 79, 120, 91, 114, 82, 76, 95, 103, 113, 100, 108, 84, 105, 81, 104, 93, 75, 116, 67, 96, 91, 124, 121, 104, 101, 85, 123, 116, 75, 87, 94, 75, 81, 120, 123, 75, 112, 117, 108, 96, 72, 64, 93, 81, 66, 79, 115, 68, 98, 104, 123, 82, 87, 103, 117, 91, 91, 71, 90, 79, 115, 99, 97, 77, 89, 110, 125, 66, 94, 99, 80, 111, 100, 90, 64, 94, 125, 68, 80, 71, 78, 83, 120, 94, 79, 101, 81, 127, 102, 78, 94, 102, 98, 70, 98, 114, 100, 117, 109, 103, 125, 88, 119, 84, 91, 73, 121, 68, 92, 91, 81, 69, 115, 100, 87, 94, 110]