Garfield Akers (1902-1953/59)
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A Shadowy Figure
The throbbing guitar sound of Garfield Akers was a primary influence on
subsequent generations of Mississippi bluesmen, with the likes of
John Lee Hooker and
citing him as an influence. Born around 1902 in Bates, Mississippi, Garfield
Akers remains a shadowy figure; after honing his skills at local dances and
house parties, he relocated to the Hernando area, where he worked by day as a
sharecropper. After moving on to Memphis, in 1929 he made his first Vocalion
label recordings at the Peabody, accompanied by guitarist
between this first date and a 1930 session for Brunswick, four Garfield Akers
performances still exist -- his two-part signature Cottonfield Blues,
Jumpin' and Shoutin' Blues, and Dough Roller Blues, one of the
first variations on
Hambone Willie Newbern's
seminal Roll and Tumble. All reflect a distinctively insistent guitar
style, and also reveal a high-pitched, almost otherworldly voice. Garfield
Akers remained an active presence on the south Memphis circuit throughout the
1930s, briefly resurfacing in the early 1950s before fading back into
obscurity; he is believed to have died around 1959. (Jason Ankeny,
All Music Guide)
Garfield Akers (b. 1902 (?) in Brights or Bates, Mississippi,d. between 1953
and 1959, probably in Memphis) was a blues-singer and -guitarist, sometimes
acting as Garfield Partee. His work is extremely small, it only consists of
four sides. His most renowned song is his debut, the Cottonfield Blues, which
Don Kent praised with the words "only a handful of guitar duets in all
blues match the incredible drive, intricate rhythms and ferocious
intensity" and called Akers "one of the greatest vocalists in blues
history". Michael Gray appreciated it as "the birth of rock íní roll
... from 1929!"
(quoted from wikipedia.org)
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Visit also these related Sites:
Biographical Information on Garfield Akers
Garfield Akers biography by Jason Ankeny.
Garfield Akers biography at wikipedia.org.
Garfield Akers biography at wikipedia.org. In German.
Garfield Akers Lyrics
Lyrics of all known Garfield Akers songs.
Garfield Akers Discographies
"Cottonfield Blues" Garfield Akers, Vocalion 1442.
Garfield Akers discography at wirz.de.
Garfield Akers Audio Files
Garfield Akers with Joe Callicott - Cottonfield Blues Part One (September 29, 1929). MP3 file, runtime 02:55.
Garfield Akers with Joe Callicott - Cottonfield Blues Part Two (September 29, 1929). MP3 file, runtime 03:19.
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