Drink Small

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Drink Small
Also known asThe Blues Doctor
Born (1933-01-28) January 28, 1933 (age 86)
Bishopville, South Carolina, United States
GenresElectric blues, soul blues[1]
Occupation(s)Guitarist, singer, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years activeMid-1950s – present
LabelsIchiban, various

Drink Small (born January 28, 1933)[1] is an African-American soul blues and electric blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is known as the Blues Doctor and has been influenced by gospel and country music and by the blues guitarist and singer Blind Boy Fuller.[2]


Small was born in Bishopville, South Carolina.[1] He taught himself to play the guitar and organized a local gospel group, the Six Stars. He had eclectic musical influences, including Tennessee Ernie Ford, Merle Travis, John Lee Hooker and Fats Domino.[3]

He was considered one of the best guitarists in gospel music in the 1950s, before he turned his attention to secular music later in that decade. In 1959, he recorded the single "I Love You Alberta", released by Sharp Records.[1][3] Small had a long career, recording occasionally for small record labels and issuing six albums between 1990 and 2008.[2] He recorded dirty blues tracks, such as "Tittie Man" and "Baby, Leave Your Panties Home",[4] and more righteous songs, such as "The Lord Been Good to Me".[5]

Small performed at the 2005 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.[3] He also performed at the first Julius Daniels Memorial Blues Festival in Denmark, South Carolina, in October 2010.

He was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2015.[6]



Year Title Record label
1976 I Know My Blues Are Different Southland (Select-O-Hits)
1990 The Blues Doctor Ichiban
1991 Round Two Wild Dog Blues
1994 Electric Blues Doctor Live Mapleshade
2003 Does It All Bishopville
2006 Blues Doctor: Live & Outrageous! Erwin
2008 Tryin' to Survive at 75 Bishopville


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d O'Neal, Jim. "Drink Small: Biography". AllMusic.com. Retrieved 2014-01-26.
  2. ^ a b Herzhaft, Gérard (1997). Encyclopedia of the Blues (2nd ed.). Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press. p. 62. ISBN 1-55728-452-0.
  3. ^ a b c Franklin, Benjamin, V (2008). Jazz and Blues Musicians of South Carolina. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press. pp. 69/85. ISBN 978-1-57003-743-6.
  4. ^ Frantz, Niles J. "Drink Small, The Blues Doctor: Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic.com. Retrieved 2014-01-26.
  5. ^ "Drink Small, Tryin' to Survive at 75: Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic.com. 2008-05-27. Retrieved 2014-01-26.
  6. ^ "NEA Announces Recipients of Nation's Highest Award in the Folk and Traditional Arts". Arts.gov. 2015-06-09. Retrieved 2015-06-27.
  7. ^ "Drink Small: Discography". AllMusic.com. Retrieved 2014-01-26.