Mississippi Sheiks Biography

This musical combination flourished between 1930 and 1935, during which time they recorded more than 80 tracks for various ‘race’ labels. The Sheiks was a string band made up of members and friends of the Chatmon family, and included Lonnie Chatmon aka Lonnie Chatman/Lonnie Carter (guitar/violin), Sam Chatmon aka Sam Chatman/Sam Carter (10 January 1897, Bolton, Mississippi, USA, d. 2 February 1983, Hollandale, Mississippi, USA; guitar), Walter Vincson aka Walter Vinson/Walter Jacobs (b. 2 February 1901, Bolton, Mississippi, USA, d. 22 April 1975, Chicago, Illinois, USA; guitar/violin), Bo Carter (b. Armenter Chatmon, 21 March 1893, Bolton, Mississippi, USA, d. 21 September 1964, Memphis, Tennessee, USA; guitar), and Charlie McCoy (b. 1909, USA, d. 1950, USA; banjo/mandolin). Vocal chores were handled by all the members. Most of these individuals pursued independent musical careers either at this time or later. The instrumental abilities of all members were extremely high and their repertoire covered all ground between popular waltzes to salacious party songs, with a fair quantity of high-quality blues thrown in. Their most famous songs included ‘Sitting On Top Of The World’, ‘Stop And Listen’ and ‘The World Is Going Wrong’. Their work also appeared under the names the Mississippi Mud Steppers, the Down South Boys and the Carter Brothers. Surviving members Sam Chatmon and Walter Vinson revived the band in the early 70s, recording an album with Carl Martin (fiddle/mandolin) and Ted Bogan (bass) as the New Mississippi Sheiks.

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

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