Bill Gaither (blues musician)

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Bill Gaither
Also known as "Little Bill" Gaither
Leroy's Buddy
Born ca. 1910[1]
Died Uncertain; probably 1970[1]
Genres Blues
Years active 1920s-1940s
Labels Various

Bill Gaither (April 21, 1910 or 1905[2] or 1908,[3] Belmont, Kentucky — 1956[3] or more likely 1970[4]) sometimes known as "Little Bill" Gaither or Leroy's Buddy,[5] was an American blues guitarist and singer.


Gaither recorded hundred of songs for labels such as Decca, Arhoolie and Okeh.[1] He often partnered with the pianist George "Honey" Hill.[2] One of Gaither's most famous blues songs was "Champ Joe Louis", recorded on June 23, 1938,[6] the day after Louis won his rematch against Max Schmeling. Ethnomusicologists have cited[7] Gaither among a group of important but understudied 20th century musicians. His blues lyrics have been appreciated as poetry.[8] Gaither is buried[9] in New Crown Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana, where jazz musician Wes Montgomery is also interred.

See also[edit]

  • The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber
  • The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray, by T. Russell
  • The Blues, by H. Elmer, e.g. p. 49


  1. ^ a b c Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues - From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. p. 113. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 
  2. ^ a b allmusic ((( Bill Gaither > Overview )))
  3. ^ a b "Blues Calendar". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  4. ^ World-Wide Web Resources - Notable Kentucky African Americans
  5. ^ e.g., Decca 7818: Racket Blues / Wintertime Blues
  6. ^ WAIL! The CBZ Journal (Apr 2001)
  7. ^ "Blues Research: Problems and Possibilities" Paul Oliver, Journal of Musicology Vol. 2 No. 4 (Autumn, 1983), pp. 377-390
  8. ^ Perfect in Their Art: Poems on Boxing from Homer to Ali Michael Waters, Robert Hedin, editors. ISBN 0-8093-2531-4. Southern Illinois Univ. Press. 2003. p. 47
  9. ^ Kentuckiana Blues Society * Foree Wells Memorial Page