The 'Last Great Delta Bluesman' Dead at 96

David 'Honeyboy' Edwards was last living link to birth of the blues
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2011 5:36 AM CDT

The last survivor of the original Mississippi Delta bluesmen has died at the age of 96. David "Honeyboy" Edwards, whose sharecropper parents taught him the guitar as a child, played with all the genre's big names during his 80-year career, including "King of the Delta Blues" Robert Johnson, the New York Times reports. Edwards and Johnson traveled the country together in the '30s, performing on street corners and at picnics and dances. After decades on the road, he made his home in Chicago in the '50s and performed frequently in the city's clubs.

Edwards, who won a 2008 Grammy for traditional blues and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award in 2010, performed more than 70 shows a year into his 90s and was still playing occasionally until earlier this year. "Blues ain't never going anywhere," he told the AP in 2008. "It can get slow, but it ain't going nowhere. You play a lowdown dirty shame slow and lonesome, my mama dead, my papa across the sea, I ain't dead but I'm just supposed to be blues. You can take that same blues, make it uptempo, a shuffle blues, that's what rock 'n' roll did with it. So blues ain't going nowhere. Ain't goin' nowhere." (Read more blues stories.)

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