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Papa Charlie Jackson


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Papa Charlie Jackson (c.1890-1938) was an early American bluesman. He played a hybrid banjo-guitar and ukulele, recording beginning in 1924. Much of his life remains a mystery, but it is probable that he was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and died in Chicago, Illinois in 1938.

Originally performing in minstrel and medicine shows, Jackson was playing all around Chicago in the early 1920s. He was noted for busking at the famouus Chicgo Maxwell Street Market. He soon recorded “Papa’s Lawdy Lawdy Blues” and “Airy Man Blues”, the first recordings by a male singer of the blues. One of his following tracks, “Salty Dog Blues”, became perhaps his most famous song. He soon began cutting records with Ida Cox, Hattie McDaniel and Ma Rainey.

The late 1920s saw Jackson reach the pinnacle of his career, recording “Papa Charlie and Blind Blake Talk About It” (a two-part song) with Blind Blake. A few more recordings followed before the 1930s, but then Jackson left Paramount Records and moved to Okeh, recording with Big Bill Broonzy.

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  • littlelouie1

    Thier were many good blues players that never been recorded which it's sad but many of then sure were recorded & we're very blessed that they were.

    31 Dec 2013 Reply
  • reebty

    Holy crap. I like to think I know my pre-war blues, but I'd never even heard of this guy. I'll probably come to realise it's like saying I like to think I know my rock music, but I've never heard of the Beatles.

    23 Jun 2009 Reply
  • simillarian

    Better than Barbecue Bob?

    19 Mar 2009 Reply
  • wendell3

    I'm also digging this.

    10 Oct 2008 Reply
  • CoolJack

    he sounds like such a dude ha ha

    23 Jun 2008 Reply
  • CoolJack

    Pulled out my old CD's again, Papa Charlie Jackson is one of the best artists of the 20's, a Paramount allstar back in his day. Whats really good is how subtle and clever alot of his Lyrics are and the Banjo is great it really adds a raggy songster touch to his sound, i guess to some extent alot of his music is medicine show esq

    21 Jun 2008 Reply
  • CoolJack

    Papa Charlie Jackson plays a good mix of Hokum and Blues music, if anyone is planning on getting a CD the best one I can recommend is the document volume 2 of his works.

    25 Aug 2007 Reply
  • CoolJack

    all of the 30 second samples are labeled for the wrong songs...

    15 Aug 2007 Reply

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