Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 05 December 2019

Johnson, Tommy(i)locked

  • Paul Oliver

Extract

(b Terry, MS, c1896; d Crystal Springs, MS, Nov 1, 1956). American blues singer and guitarist. He moved to Crystal Springs as a child, and worked there mainly as a field hand and farmer. He was taught to play guitar by his brother, and performed at local functions and occasionally with traveling shows. Before World War I he was influenced by Charley Patton and his circle in Drew, Mississippi. He developed a beautiful and moving performing style exemplified on his first recording, “Cool Drink of Water Blues” (1928, Vic. 21279), which was taken slowly with falsetto phrases and accompanied by a complementary line in mandolin style by the guitarist Charlie McCoy. His “Big Road Blues” (1928, Vic. 21279) consisted of traditional verses forcefully sung against a compelling accompaniment of ascending steps. Johnson was addicted to alcohol, and sang about it on “Canned Heat Blues” (...

You do not currently have access to this article

Login

Please login to access the full content.

Subscribe

Please subscribe to access the full content.

E. Southern: Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians