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Bukka White
Born: November 12, 1909, Houston, Mississippi*
Died: February 26, 1977, Memphis Tennessee
Also known as: Booker T. Washington White

Bukka WhiteBukka White moved to the Mississippi Delta as an adolescent and was influenced by Charley Patton as a result he played a particularly pure form of Delta blues. White's devotion to the music was considerable; after a run-in with the law in Mississippi in 1937, he jumped bail in order to record in Chicago. He was apprehended and incarcerated at Mississippi's Parchman Farm, where he was popular as an entertainer, and where his gift for songwriting wasn't hampered like many of his originals, the song "Parchman Farm Blues" became a classic. White's real taste of fame came after Bob Dylan recorded White's original song "Fixin' to Die Blues" in the early 1960s. Curious about the song's original author, two young blues players found White by sending a general delivery letter to Aberdeen, Mississippi (tipped off by his blues song of the same title). These leaps in visibility led to White's fame in later life, as both a performer and a storyteller, as he embodied both the Delta blues and its rich history.

Essential Listening: "Shake 'Em on Down," "The Panama Limited," "Aberdeen Mississippi Blues," "Fixin' to Die Blues," "Parchman Farm Blues"