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A.C. Forehand

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Biography

Left-handed guitarist Elder Ma (“AC.” or “Asey”) Forehand was born in Columbus, Georgia, on August 9, 1890 (according to his second wife) or 1893 (according to the Social Security Death index). He lost his sight in 1904 and his first wife, Mamie, who is said to have been born on June 8, 1895, was also blind. During the 1920 census, when the couple were residing in Birmingham, Alabama, A.C. gave his age as 29 (which would make 1890 more likely) and his occupation as “none.” Mamie was registered as being twenty-three and their daughter Rideth Mae as three years and one month. All had been born in Alabama. On February 25, 1927 A.C. and Blind Mamie Forehand recorded ‘Mother’s Prayer’ and ‘I’m So Glad Today’ for Victor. A.C. played guitar and harmonica, while his wife, “Blind Mamie Forehand”, accompanied him on triangle, (although discography mentions “finger cymbals”). Three days later Mamie made two recordings under her own name: ‘Honey In The Rock’, written by the composer F.A Graves, and ‘Wouldn’t Mind Dying If Dying Was All’. Her triangle was there again and A.C. accompanied her on guitar. Around 1930 the couple moved to Memphis, Tennessee. In 1936, following Mamie’s death, Asa married his second wife, Frances Forest. She was a blind pianist and organist born in New Orleans on July 5, 1920. In the sixties the couple was active in the Church Of God In Christ. Asa Forehand died on May 9, 1972 and was buried without a headstone at Rose Hill Cemetery. A week later, Bob Eagle interviewed Frances for Living Blues 9. Steve LaVere acquired Asa’s cheap guitar, which was in poor condition and harboured some dead roaches.

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