Casey Bill Weldon

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Casey Bill Weldon
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One of the only known photos of Casey Bill, here he is holding his guitar but not in his signature Hawaiian style.
Background information
Birth name William Weldon
Born (1909-12-10)December 10, 1909
Pine Bluff, Arkansas, United States
Died circa 1970
Genres Country blues[1]
Instruments Vocals, slide guitar
Years active Presumably 1927 - c.1940
Labels Vocalion, Bluebird
Notable instruments
Slide Guitar

William "Casey Bill" Weldon (December 10, 1909 - circa 1970) was an American country blues musician.[1]

Weldon was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, United States, and later lived and worked in Chicago, Illinois, and was known as one of the early pioneers of the slide guitar.[2] He played upbeat, hokum and country blues tunes. Playing a National steel guitar flat on his lap Hawaiian style, "Casey Bill" Weldon was known as the "Hawaiian Guitar Wizard". He was married to singer and guitarist Memphis Minnie in the 1920s. Only recently it has been widely accepted that Casey Bill Weldon is not the same musician as "Will Weldon" who recorded between 1927 and 1928 as a member of the Memphis Jug Band.[3][4]

Weldon cut over 60 sides for Bluebird and Vocalion. He was also an active session guitarist appearing on records by Teddy Darby, Bumble Bee Slim, Peetie Wheatstraw, and Memphis Minnie. On Memphis Minnie's last recording for Bluebird Records in October 1935, Weldon accompanied her for the first time. He played on two sides, "When the Sun Goes Down, Part 2" and "Hustlin' Woman Blues." [5] He scored solo hits with his two most well known songs, "Somebody Done Changed the Lock on That Door",[6] and "We Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town."

After his divorce from Memphis Minnie, he married blues singer Geeshie Wiley. They disappeared from the public eye soon after and he stopped recording by 1938. His date of death is unknown, though assumed to be sometime around 1970.[7]


He played a National steel guitar flat on his lap Hawaiian style. His slide guitar solos were emotional and unique. His style of playing was highly influential on the emerging Chicago Blues style.[2]


  1. ^ a b Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music (1st ed.). Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 1-904041-96-5. 
  2. ^ a b "Michael Messer's top ten slide blues recordings - Blues Matters! magazine July 2003". Retrieved 2015-08-30. 
  3. ^ "Casey Bill Weldon Discography". Retrieved 2015-08-30. 
  4. ^ Stefan Wirz. "Illustrated Casey Bill Weldon discography". Retrieved 2015-08-30. 
  5. ^ Garon, Paul and Beth (1992). Woman With Guitar:Memphis Minnie's Blues. New York: Da Capo Press. p. 39. ISBN 0-306-80460-3. 
  6. ^ Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. p. 13. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 
  7. ^ "Casey Bill Weldon | Biography". AllMusic. 1909-07-10. Retrieved 2015-08-30. 

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