Sam Hopkins, 15 March 1912, Centreville, Texas, USA, d. 30 January 1982, Houston, Texas, USA. One of the last great country blues singers, Hopkins lengthy career began in the Texas bars and juke joints of the 20s. Towards the end of the decade he formed a duo with a cousin, Texas Alexander, while his Lightnin epithet was derived from a subsequent partnership with barrelhouse pianist Thunder Smith, with whom he made his first recordings. Hopkins early work unveiled a masterly performer. His work first came to prominence when, after being discovered by Sam Charters at the age of 47, The Roots Of Lightnin Hopkins was released in 1959 and numerous sessions followed. His sparse acoustic guitar and narrated prose quickly made him an important discovery, appealing to the audience of the American folk boom of the early 60s. His harsh, emotive voice and compulsive, if irregular, guitar playing, conveyed an intensity enhanced by the often personal...
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