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Mississippi Fred McDowell
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    (January 12, 1904-July 3, 1972)
    Born in Rossville, Tennessee
    Blues guitarist and singer
    Recorded the albums 'Mississippi Delta Blues' (1964), 'My Home Is in the Delta' (1964), 'Amazing Grace' (1964), 'Long Way From Home' (1967), 'I Do Not Play No Rock and Roll' (1969), 'In London, Vols, 1 and 2' (1969) and 'Live in New York' (1972)
    He was born in Tennessee but was nicknamed 'Mississippi.' (Which McDowell himself found amusing.)
    He did not make any records until he was in his 50s.
    Even after he began earning enough money to support himself as a musician, he kept a job pumping gas at a local service station.
    He would start concerts with the declaration, 'I do not play no rock and roll.'
    Alan Lomax, the musicologist who discovered him, said he was 'a bluesman quite the equal of Son House and Muddy Waters, but, musically speaking, their granddaddy.'
    He toured Europe as part of the American Folk Blues Festival, alongside Big Mama Thornton, John Lee Hooker and Buddy Guy (1965).
    He coached Bonnie Raitt on how to play slide guitar.
    The Rolling Stones covered his version of 'You Gotta Move' on the 'Sticky Fingers' album (1971).

Credit: C. Fishel

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