8 November 2023
Huddie William Ledbetter born on 20 January 1888 in Mooringsport, Louisiana
was/still is an infamous folk-blues icon who influenced (and still does) countless
artists (the late Kurt Cobain was one of them).
With his idiosyncratic, dusky voice, his daily life stories’ and his signature 12-string
guitar Lead Belly was/is nothing less than a heroic and historic musician. He died at
the age of 61.
Nirvana covering Lead Belly’s Where Did You Sleep Last Night
But he wasn’t a good boy, not at all. He was sentenced and put in jail for murder in 1925. Eventually, he was pardoned by the Governor of Texas. The politician visited Belly several times in prison and he always sang for him. The blues legend maintained afterward that he won over the governor with his song Please Pardon Me.
Ledbetter earned his nickname for his violent behavior and ability to drink
lots of moonshine (bootleg liquor). Lead Belly didn’t sell many records in his
lifetime, but was much later discovered and became a member of the Rock
and Roll Hall Of Fame.
10 GEMS picked by Turn Up The Volume.
LEAD BELLY: Bio – Discography