Little Buddy Doyle

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Little Buddy Doyle
Birth name Charley Doyle
Born March 20, 1911
Cordova, Tennessee, United States
Died c. 1960
Bolivar, Tennessee, United States
Genres Country blues, Memphis blues[1]
Occupation(s) Guitarist, singer, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Labels Okeh, Vocalion
Associated acts Big Walter Horton, Hammie Nixon

Little Buddy Doyle (March 20, 1911 – c. 1960)[2] was an American Memphis blues and country blues guitarist, singer and songwriter.[1] He was a working associate of the harmonica players Big Walter Horton and Hammie Nixon, the guitarist David "Honeyboy" Edwards, and the pianist Sunnyland Slim.

Life and career[edit]

He was born Charley Doyle in Cordova, Tennessee. During the 1930s, he performed regularly on Beale Street, in Memphis, Tennessee.[2][3]

It is generally accepted that Horton made his first recording backing Doyle, on eight songs recorded in Memphis for Okeh Records and Vocalion Records in 1939.[4] Doyle also recorded with Nixon around the same time; some of their recorded work remains unissued.[5]

Most of what else is known about Doyle derives from the autobiography of Edwards. who met him in Memphis in 1935, where Doyle regularly performed in Handy Park. He was still performing in Handy Park when Edwards returned to Memphis in 1943, at which time Edwards sometimes performed in the park with Doyle, Horton and the young Little Walter. Edwards remembered Doyle clearly and described him as a charismatic figure. According to Edwards, Doyle was a red-eyed alcoholic, was drunk all the time and had two or three gold teeth. No photos of Doyle are known. His nickname, Little Buddy, was likely due to his diminutive stature; according to Edwards, Doyle "was a midget. His legs was so short that when he sat on the bench to play the guitar he couldn´t pat his feet. He had to just bump against the seat, his feet would be that far off the ground. He´d get to playing the blues and just bump, bump, bump."[6]

When Edwards met him in 1935, Doyle was married to Hedda, who was six feet tall. According to Edwards, Hedda too was "a good guitar player in the key of G." She sometimes performed with Doyle.

Little else is known of Doyle's life apart from his recorded work. Details of his death seem to be undocumented but it is known he died in Bolivar, Tennessee around 1960.[7]

See also[edit]


Doyle's known tracks include "Bad in Mind Blues"; "Grief Will Kill You", "Hard Scufflin' Blues", "Lost Baby Blues", "Renewed Love Blues", "She's Got Good Dry Goods", "Slick Caper Blues", "Sweet Man Blues" and "Three Sixty Nine Blues". Several are featured on the following compilation albums.

Album title Record label Year of release
Sounds of Memphis (1933–1939) Story of the Blues Records 1987
Roots 'n Blues: The Retrospective 1925–1950 Legacy Recordings 1992



  1. ^ a b "Little Buddy Doyle | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  2. ^ a b "Little Buddy Doyle". Retrieved July 26, 2011. 
  3. ^ Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books. p. 25. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 
  4. ^ Huey, Steve. "Big Walter Horton biography". Retrieved May 30, 2009. 
  5. ^ Oliver, Paul (2009). Barrelhouse Blues: Location Recording and the Early Traditions of the Blues. New York: BasicCivitas Books. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-465-00881-0. 
  6. ^ Edwards, David Honeyboy (1997). The World Don't Owe Me Nothing. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. p. 58. ISBN 1-55652-368-8. 
  7. ^ Bob L. Eagle; Eric S. LeBlanc. Blues: A Regional Experience. p. 242. ISBN 978-0-313-34423-7. 
  8. ^ "Little Buddy Doyle | Songs". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 

External links[edit]