Monday, March 28, 2011
Mance Lipscomb - Texas Sharecropper and Songster - 1961.
Like Leadbelly and Mississippi John Hurt, the designation as strictly a blues singer dwarfs the musical breadth of Mance Lipscomb. Born on April 9, 1895 in Navasota, TX, Lipscomb was a sharecropper/tenant farmer all his life who didn't record until 1960, "songster" fits what Lipscomb did best. A proud, yet unboastful man, Lipscomb would point out that he was an educated musician, his ability to play everything from classic blues, ballads, pop songs to spirituals in a multitude of styles and keys being his particular mark of originality. He appeared at numerous blues and folk festivals throughout the '60s, released several albums on Arhoolie and even one for a major label, Reprise, in 1970, Trouble in Mind. Four years later, Lipscomb retired from the festival circuit and passed away on January 30, 1976 in his hometown of Navasota, TX. He was 81. With a wide-ranging repertoire of over 90 songs, Lipscomb may have gotten a belated start in recording, but left a remarkable legacy to be enjoyed.
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