Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Sylvester Weaver - On October 23, 1923, he recorded in New York City with the blues singer Sara Martin "Longing for Daddy Blues" / "I've Got to Go and Leave My Daddy Behind" and two weeks later as a soloist "Guitar Blues" / "Guitar Rag". Both recordings were released on Okeh Records. These recordings are the very first country-blues recordings and the first known recorded songs using the slide guitar style. "Guitar Rag" (played on a Guitjo) became a blues classic and was covered in the 1930s by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys as "Steel Guitar Rag" and became a country music standard too.
Weaver recorded until 1927, sometimes accompanied by Sara Martin, about 50 additional songs. On some recordings from 1927 he was accompanied by Walter Beasley and the singer Helen Humes. Weaver often used the bottleneck-style method, playing his guitar with a knife. His recordings were quite successful but in 1927 he retired and went back to Louisville until his death in 1960. Though many country blues artists had a revival from the 1950s on, Weaver died almost forgotten.
In 1992 his complete works were released on two CDs, the same year his (up to then anonymous) grave got a headstone by engagement of the Louisville-based Kentuckiana Blues Society (KBS). Furthermore the KBS has annually honored since 1989 persons who rendered outstanding services to the blues with their Sylvester Weaver Award.