Personalities | Henry Thomas | Twenties | Jazz & Blues

(Vocals, quills, guitar, 1874–1930)

A son of former slaves, Henry ‘Ragtime’ Thomas specialized in the quills, a panpipe-like instrument made from hollow reeds. He was itinerant for most of his life, a fact reflected in songs such as ‘Railroadin’, in which Thomas names train stops from Fort Worth to Chicago. His ‘Bull Doze Blues’, renamed ‘Goin’ Up The Country’, became a 1960s hit for Canned Heat, who recreated his quills intro note for note.

Styles & Forms | Twenties | Jazz & Blues
Personalities | Frankie Trumbauer | Twenties | Jazz & Blues

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


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