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Memphis Minnie


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Memphis Minnie (born Lizzie Douglas in Algiers, Louisiana, June 3, 1897 – August 6, 1973) was an American blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter from the late 1920s to the 1950s, one of the most influential country blues musicians to have ever recorded.

Lizzie Douglas was born on June 3, 1897 in Algiers, Louisiana. She was the eldest from her 13 other siblings. Her parents Abe and Gertrude Douglas nicknamed her the Kid during her early childhood. At the age of 7 she and her family moved to Walls, Mississippi, which was just south of Memphis. The following year after she moved, she received her first guitar for Christmas. She began to practice and learn how to play both the banjo and the guitar and it was seen that she had a great talent as a musician. When she first began performing she did not use her first name Lizzie, but played under the name Kid Douglas. When she was 13 years old she ran away from her home to live on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. She would play on street corners for most of her teenage years and would eventually go home when she ran out of money. She began to get noticed singing and playing guitar on the street corners. This brought an opportunity for her to tour, travel, and play with the Ringling Brothers Circus. Eventually she came back to Beale Street and got consumed in the blues scene. At the time, women, whiskey, and cocaine were high in demand with the people and places she would be around.


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