Personalities | Robert Nighthawk | Forties | Jazz & Blues

(Guitar, vocals, 1909–67)

Robert Lee McCollum was born in Helena, Arkansas. He was taught guitar by his cousin, Houston Stackhouse, in 1930. He moved to St. Louis in 1934, now calling himself Robert McCoy, and first recorded in 1937 on acoustic guitar. He took the name Robert Nighthawk and used it professionally from the early 1940s. Nighthawk had converted to electric guitar by the time he recorded for Aristocrat/Chess from 1948–50. He was a master of the electric slide guitar and his work was influential on future slide stylists such as Muddy Waters and Earl Hooker.

Styles & Forms | Forties | Jazz & Blues
Personalities | Chico O’Farrill | Forties | Jazz & Blues

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


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