Product Dimensions: 8"x10" photo in 11" x 14" matte
Author/Artist: Center for Southern Folklore Archives
This photograph shows (Walter E.) "Furry" Lewis at his home in 1981. Born in 1893 Lewis was one of the first of the old-time blues musicians of the 1920s to be brought out of retirement and given a new lease of recording life by the folk blues revival of the 1960s. Lewis' style of blues was in many ways typical of the "songsters" who operated in and around Memphis in the 1920s, for whom the value of a song was the story it told, and who tended to back their words with hypnotic repetitive riffs and subtle slide guitars. Furry Lewis' soft voice and quick slide work were particularly effective in this style. He recorded many successful records in the late '20s including Kassie Jones, Billy Lyons & Stack-O-Lee and Judge Harsh Blues. Before he died in 1981 Furry opened twice for the Rolling Stones, played on Johnny Carson's Tonight show, and had a part in a Burt Reynolds movie. W.C. Handy recognized the unleashed talent of Furry Lewis as a youngster and purchased his first real guitar, a Martin, which Lewis would possess for at least the next 20 years.