Arbee Stidham Biography

9 February 1917, Devalls Bluff, Arkansas, USA. In his childhood he learned to play harmonica, clarinet and alto saxophone and formed his own band. When Stidham moved to Chicago he met Lester Melrose who signed the young blues singer to RCA - Victor in 1947. His biggest hit, ‘My Heart Belongs to You’, was recorded at the first session in September of that year, and Stidham spent the rest of his career trying to emulate its success. After Victor (1947-50), he recorded for Sittin’ In With (1951), Checker (1953), Abco (1956) and States (1957) as a vocalist, but took up the guitar in the 50s under the tutelage of Big Bill Broonzy. In 1960-61, Stidham recorded one album for Bluesville (which included a remake of his big hit) and two for Folkways, in which his singing was accompanied by his guitar. He also accompanied Memphis Slim on one of the pianist’s Folkways sessions. In 1965 Stidham again re-recorded ‘My Heart Belongs To You’ for Sam Phillips. In the 70s a single was released on Blues City and a brace of albums on Mainstream and Folkways.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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