Blind Blake

Blind Blake is a musician of major importance to guitarists today.  His nimble picking has been admired by guitarists all over the world.  His style has been copied by many, but few, if any, have perfected the bluesy, ragtime rifts of this great musician.  Blues musicians said that Blake played his complicated guitar rhythms like a piano.

Blind Blake was born in Jacksonville, probably between 1895 and 1897.  Some have speculated that he was from the Georgia Sea Islands because he spoke a few words in the Gullah dialect on one of his recordings. What is known is that Blake spent time in Atlanta playing in cafes and on the streets before he moved to Chicago in the 1920s.  After the blues hits of Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Blake was recruited for making these kind of profitable records.  He recorded mainly in the Chicago area from 1926 until his disappearance in 1932.  His time and place of death has remained a mystery to this day.

Point of Interest

Blind Blake was born in Jackonville. He likely encountered musicians who performed at the clubs on Ashley Street in the city's La Villa neighborhood, which was known as the Harlem of the South.