Aberdeen Mississippi Blues

Booker White

Booker’s rediscovery

Delta blues legend Booker White performs “Aberdeen Mississippi Blues” an ode to his hometown live in 1967 utilizing his usually guitar tuning of open E-minor.

When Bob Dylan covered Booker Whites song “Fixin’ to Die Blues”, interest in his music and whereabouts were rekindled aiding in his 1963 ‘rediscovery’ by guitarist John Fahey and ED Denson. This propelled the delta bluesman into the folk revival scene of the 1960s. White had recorded the song simply because his other songs had not particularly impressed the Victor record producer. It was a studio composition of which White had thought little until it re-emerged thirty years later.

Fahey and Denson found Booker White easily enough, Fahey wrote a letter to “Bukka White (Old Blues Singer), addressed c/o General Delivery, Aberdeen, Mississippi.” He had assumed, given White’s song “Aberdeen, Mississippi”, that there was a chance he still lived there or nearby. The postcard was forwarded to Memphis, Tennessee, where White worked in a tank factory and Fahey and Denson soon traveled to meet him. John Fahey and Booker would remain friends through the remainder of the blues man’s life. Ed Denson became his manager and recorded a new album featuring ‘Bukka White’ released on his Takoma label.

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