Personalities | Blind Boy Fuller | Thirties | Jazz & Blues

(Guitar, vocals, 1908–41)

Fuller was born Fulton Allen in Wadesboro, North Carolina and was one of 10 children. He learned to play guitar as a teenager and by the mid-1920s was working for tips around Rockingham, North Carolina. He had lost his sight by 1928. He teamed up with artists such as Gary Davis, Bull City Red and Sonny Terry and worked the area around Durham, North Carolina in the mid-1930s.

He first recorded for ARC in 1935 and, with the exception of two sessions for Decca in 1937, recorded for ARC/Vocalion/OKeh until June 1940. He cut well over 100 sides during that time. Fuller was known for the wide variety of music he played, including pop songs, religious material, ragtime and blues, and because of that range he is considered a unique figure in the pantheon of Carolina blues stylists. He underwent kidney surgery in 1940 and suffered blood poisoning, which ultimately killed him.

Styles & Forms | Thirties | Jazz & Blues
Personalities | Benny Goodman | Thirties | Jazz & Blues

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel


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