Ernest Lawlars

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Ernest Lawlars
Also known asLittle Son Joe
Born(1900-05-18)May 18, 1900
Hughes, Arkansas, United States
DiedNovember 14, 1961(1961-11-14) (aged 61)
Memphis, Tennessee, United States
GenresBlues
Occupation(s)Guitarist, vocalist, composer
InstrumentsGuitar, drums
Years active1930s – 1950s
LabelsVocalion, Columbia
Associated actsMemphis Minnie

Ernest Lawlars (May 18, 1900 – November 14, 1961)[1] was an American blues guitarist, vocalist, and composer, known professionally as Little Son Joe.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Lawlars (sometimes spelled "Lawlers" or "Lawlar") was born in Hughes, Arkansas, United States. From around 1931 to 1936 he worked around Memphis with Robert Wilkins, who he accompanied on a recording session in 1935.[1] The same session also produced Lawlers's first recorded side, under the name Son Joe, although this was not issued.[3]

By 1939, he was working with, and married to, Memphis Minnie.[4] Their first recording session together, for Vocalion in February 1939, produced six released sides by Lawlers as well as four under Minnie's name.[2] Lawlars recorded in his own right under the name Little Son Joe, but most of his recorded work was as an accompanist to Minnie.[5] In 1942, and billed as Little Son Joe, he had a hit with "Black Rat Swing".[6] He mostly retired from music from around 1957 because of ill-health,[1] although after moving to Memphis in 1958 he and Minnie had a regular Saturday night gig at the Red Light in Millington, Tennessee,[7] and he played drums on Minnie's final recording session in 1959.[8]

He died in John Gaston Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, in November 1961 from heart disease, and was buried in the New Hope Cemetery in Walls, Mississippi.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Harris, S. (1981): Blues Who's Who. New York, Da Capo Press, pp. 316-7
  2. ^ a b Garon & Garon 1992, p. 46
  3. ^ Dixon, Robert M W. Godrich, John. Rye, Howard W (1997). Blues and Gospel Records 1890-1943. Oxford: OUP, 4th ed., p. 549
  4. ^ Giles Oakley (1997). The Devil's Music. Da Capo Press. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-306-80743-5.
  5. ^ Larkin, Colin. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Guinness, page 2520, (1995) - ISBN 1-56159-176-9
  6. ^ Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. p. 13. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.
  7. ^ Garon & Garon 1992 p. 77
  8. ^ Garon & Garon 1992 p. 78

Sources[edit]

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