Hambone Willie Newbern
Life and career
Few details are known of his life. He is believed to have been born in Haywood County, Tennessee, close to Brownsville along Tennessee State Route 19. He was reported to have played with Yank Rachell and Sleepy John Estes (from whom most of our knowledge of Hambone was gained) in the 1920s and 1930s. He recorded one of the earliest known versions of the blues standard "Rollin' and Tumblin'" in 1929. He only recorded six tracks in total, which also included, "She Could Toodle-Oo" and "Hambone Willie's Dreamy-Eyed Woman's Blues."
Newbern was reputedly a hot-tempered man, but reports that he was beaten to death in a prison brawl, around 1947, are disputed by researchers Bob Eagle and Eric LeBlanc who assert that he died at home in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1965.
- Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. p. 240. ISBN 978-0313344237.
- Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music (1st ed.). Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 1-904041-96-5.
- A History of Tennessee Arts, University of Tennessee Press
- "Biography by Jason Ankeny". Allmusic.com. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
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