Carl Martin

Decades: 1970s 1990s 2000s


1 April 1906, Big Stone Gap, Virginia, USA, d. 10 May 1979, Pontiac, Michigan, USA. Like his father, the multi-instrumentalist Martin played in a string band, although he is also known for his work in the blues field. In his teens he met Howard Armstrong and, in 1930, the two musicians, along with Martin’s brother Roland, recorded under the name of the Tennessee Chocolate Drops. It gives some indication of their sound that the record was also issued in the company’s country music series (under a different credit). A couple of years later, Martin moved to Chicago and joined the blues circuit, recording under his own name and accompanying artists as diverse as Tampa Red and Freddie Spruell. In the 60s, Martin and Armstrong, with guitarist Ted Bogan, brought the old string band sound to a new audience.

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