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Bumble Bee Slim

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Amos Easton (May 7, 1905 – June 8, 1968), better known by the stage name Bumble Bee Slim, was an American Piedmont blues singer and guitarist.

Easton was born in Brunswick, Georgia, United States. Around 1920 he joined the Ringling Brothers circus before returning to Georgia, marrying briefly, and then heading north on a freight train to Indianapolis where he settled in 1928. There, he met and was influenced by pianist Leroy Carr and guitarist Scrapper Blackwell.

By 1931 he had moved to Chicago, where he first recorded as Bumble Bee Slim for Paramount Records. The following year his song, “B&O Blues”, was a hit for Vocalion Records, inspiring a number of other railroad blues and eventually becoming a popular folk song. Over the next five years he recorded over 150 songs for the Decca, Bluebird and Vocalion labels, often accompanied by other musicians such as Big Bill Broonzy, Peetie Wheatstraw, Tampa Red, Memphis Minnie, and Washboard Sam.

In 1937, he returned to Georgia, then relocated to Los Angeles, California, in the early 1940s; he apparently hoped to break into motion pictures as a songwriter and comedian. During the 1950s he recorded several albums, but these had little impact. His last album came out in 1962 on the Pacific Jazz label.

He continued to perform in clubs around Los Angeles until his death in 1968.

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