Po’ Boy

Booker White

A prisoner’s lament

Booker White performs “Po’ Boy” at the 1967 “American Folk Blues Festival in Germany. He first recorded the song for Alan Lomax in 1939 while serving time in Parchment Farm Prison.

Booker White first recorded for the Victor Record label in 1930 when they also published his photograph. These recordings, like those of many other bluesmen, fluctuated between country blues and gospel numbers. Victor in 1930. His gospel songs were done in the style of Blind Willie Johnson, with a female singer accentuating the last phrase of each line. Nine years later, while serving time for assault, he recorded for folklorist John Lomax. One song he recorded “Po’ Boy” would become one of his best known.

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