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Blind Blake

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There are at least two artists with the name Blind Blake

1. Arthur “Blind” Blake (c. 1893-c. 1933) was an influential blues singer and guitarist. There is only one photograph of him in existence.

Very little is known about his life. His birthplace was listed as Jacksonville, Florida by Paramount Records, but even that is in dispute. Nothing is known of his death. Even his name is not certain. During recordings he was asked about his real name and he answered that his name was Blind Arthur Blake which is also listed on some of the song credits, strengthening his case on his real name, although there is a suggestion that his real name was Arthur Phelps.

Blake recorded about eighty sides for Paramount Records in the late 1920s and early 1930s. He was one of the most accomplished guitarists of his genre, with a surprisingly diverse range of material. He is best known for his distinct guitar sound, whose complex and intricate fingerpicking was comparable in sound and style to a ragtime piano.

His first recordings were made in 1926 and his records sold well. His first solo record was “Early Morning Blues”, with “West Coast Blues” on the B-side. He made his last recordings in 1932, the end of his career being aided by Paramount’s bankruptcy.

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