Darby was born in Henderson, Kentucky. He moved to St. Louis with his family when he was a child. His mother taught him to play the guitar. He served some time for selling moonshine. In 1926 he lost his eyesight because of glaucoma.
He recorded from 1929 until 1937 under the names Blind Teddy Darby, Blind Darby, Blind Blues Darby and Blind Squire Turner for Paramount, Victor, Bluebird, Vocalion and Decca. In 1960 he was "rediscovered" and recorded by Pete Welding of Testament Records, but the recordings from this session were never released.
Darby was a friend of the blues musician Peetie Wheatstraw. On December 21, 1941, Wheatstraw's 39th birthday, Darby was invited to go for a drive with Wheatstraw and two others, but Darby's wife objected, and he declined the invitation. Wheatstraw and his two companions were killed when their car struck a standing freight train.
In the late 1930s he gave up the blues and became an ordained deacon.
His song "Built Right on the Ground" has been covered (under the title of "I Never Cried"), from the 1970s onwards, by John Miller (who first changed the title), Roy Book Binder, Howard Bursen, and Phil Heywood.
- St. Louis Country Blues (Earl Archives, 1984)
- Bootleggin' Ain't Good No More (Blue Planet, 1993)
- Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order (Document, 1993)
- Eder, Bruce. "Blind Teddy Darby: Biography". Allmusic.com. Retrieved September 1, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Barlow, William (1989). "Looking Up At Down": The Emergence of Blues Culture, pp. 267–268. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. ISBN 0-87722-583-4.
- Colin Larkin, ed. (1995). The Guinness Who's Who of Blues (Second ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 100. ISBN 0-85112-673-1.
- Garon, Paul (1971). The Devil's Son-in-Law: The Story of Peetie Wheatstraw and His Songs. Studio Vista. p. 7. ASIN B008B1TAME. Reissue ISBN 978-0882862668.