Booker T. Washington White, 12 November 1906, Houston, Mississippi, USA, d. 26 February 1977, Memphis, Tennessee, USA. White learned guitar and piano in his teens, and hoboed from 1921, playing blues with artists such as George Bullet Williams. In the mid-30s White was a boxer and baseball pitcher. He recorded for Victor Records in 1930, a largely unissued session including spirituals and the first of his breakneck train imitations. Returning to Vocalion Records in 1937, he recorded his composition Shake Em On Down and was given the misspelled billing which he always disliked. By the time Shake Em On Down was a hit, White had been imprisoned in Parchman Farm for assault. There, he recorded two songs for the Library of Congress, and claimed to have had an easy time as a prison musician. However, when he recorded commercially again in 1940, he was clear that he had been traumatized by his experience. The result was a...
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