Darby & Tarlton

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1960s 1970s 1990s 2000s

Biography

As a small child, Jimmie Tarleton (John James Rimbert Tarleton, 8 May 1892, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, USA, d. 1979) learned to play banjo and harmonica, but at the age of eight he changed to guitar. He soon took to playing, using a knife blade or bottleneck to fret the strings and became very efficient in the playing of negro blues and Hawaiian music, as well as the old-time songs he learned from his mother. He left home in 1912 and travelled extensively from Texas and California to New York, working in cotton mills and oilfields and on occasions playing as a street musician in Chicago and New York, or touring with medicine shows. In 1923, he became friendly with Frank Ferera, who did much to popularize the Hawaiian guitar in America, and from him learned the use of a steel bar, in lieu of the knife blade. He finally changed to an automobile wrist-pin in the late 20s and used it until his death.

In 1926, he formed a partnership...

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