Lead Belly

Born on a Louisiana farm in 1889, Lead Belly won international fame as an interpreter of African-American folk songs and blues. Between 1935 and 1949 he displayed his instrumental mastery and sang folk songs, spirituals and ballads to enthusiastic audiences at universities, nightclubs, political rallies, concert halls and private parties. Ten months after Lead Belly’s death in 1949, “Goodnight, Irene” became an international hit, selling over two million copies.

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