Bumble Bee Slim
|Bumble Bee Slim|
|Birth name||Amos Easton|
May 7, 1905|
Brunswick, Georgia, U.S.
|Origin||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|Died||June 8, 1968
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Easton was born in Brunswick, Georgia. Around 1920 he joined the Ringling Brothers circus. He then returned to Georgia and was briefly married before heading north on a freight train to Indianapolis, where he settled in 1928. There he met and was influenced by the pianist Leroy Carr and the guitarist Scrapper Blackwell.
By 1931 he had moved to Chicago, where he made his first recordings, as Bumble Bee Slim, for Paramount Records. The following year his song "B&O Blues" was a hit for Vocalion Records, inspiring a number of other railroad blues and eventually becoming a popular folk song. In the next five years he recorded over 150 songs for Decca Records, Bluebird Records and Vocalion, often accompanied by other musicians, including Big Bill Broonzy, Peetie Wheatstraw, Tampa Red, Memphis Minnie, and Washboard Sam.
In 1937, he returned to Georgia. He relocated to Los Angeles, California, in the early 1940s, apparently hoping to break into motion pictures as a songwriter and comedian. During the 1950s he recorded several albums, but they had little impact. His last album was released by in 1962 by Pacific Jazz Records.
He continued to perform in clubs around Los Angeles until his death in 1968.
- Allmusic biography
- Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books. pp. 96–97. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.
- Eckenrode, Andrew. "East Coast Piedmont Blues: Bumble Bee Slim". University of North Carolina at Asheville. Archived from the original on 8 February 2006. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
- The Blues Trail website mini-biography
- Zolten, Jerry (September/October 1997). "The Rough and Rugged Road of Bumble Bee Slim". Living Blues no. 135.