Peg Leg Howell: Please Ma'am (1928)

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Peg Leg Howell: Please Ma'am (1928)

Just as a lot of blues artists were “Blind” and there were a few “Peg Leg” characters out there.

Georgia-born Josh Howell got his nickname after he lost a leg when he was shot by his brother-in-law. He'd already established a reputation as an excellent finger-picker but now, unable to work on the farm, he moved to Atlanta and became a street performer before he began recording for Columbia (after a spell in prison for bootlegging).

His style is considered country blues and Howell one of the unsung heroes of the genre who seldom recorded after the late Thirties.

His rediscovery in the early Sixties when he was in his mid Seventies – and lost his other leg to diabetes – came a bit too late for him.

He died in '66.

But as an authentic voice from someone who could play and sing plaintive country blues like this, he was an important, if not influential figure.

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For more one-off or unusual songs with an interesting backstory see From the Vaults.

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