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February 19, 2011 7:51 PM Subscribe
The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins
posted by madamjujujive (16 comments total)
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A 1967 Les Blank film of Lightnin Hopkins visiting his hometown of Centerville, TX "…a gorgeous 31-minute poem of a movie, a series of snapshots from his life as well as a look at an era fast disappearing…Watching the film is something of a revelation, at least if you ever had a doubt where the blues came from."
Also featuring Billy Bizor, Mance Lipscome and Ruth'Blues'Ames.
Town memorializes bluesman with new statue
- Marty Racine, Houston Chronicle 2002
Sam Hopkins was born in 1912 to a sharecropping family in Centerville, a few farms west of Crockett. His grandfather was a slave who hanged himself. His father, Abe, was a ruffian murdered after an argument over a card game.
His mother, Frances, encouraged him to play organ at her home church services, but he was drawn to the hard stuff plucked by older brothers Joel and John Henry.
At age 8 Sam built a guitar by cutting a hole in a cigar box, nailing on a plank and stringing it with wire. After hearing Blind Lemon Jefferson enthrall a picnic in Buffalo, he knew that music would save him from the cotton patch.
Post quotation about the film from the excellent Let There Be Lightnin: How Sam Hopkins Lived the Blues
by Michael Hall.
Here's another article snippet:
FOR THE MOST PART, LIGHTNIN’ didn’t trust white people, in particular record business white people, all of whom, he claimed, had cheated him. Even Lomax had horrible experiences with the bluesman. On their eight-show 1960 trip to California, every show had gone well except for one, and Lightnin’ complained bitterly and took it out on Lomax, who later wrote in a letter, “I couldn’t help but recall Mark Twain’s description of one of his characters: ‘He had every attribute of a dog except gratitude.’”
More Lightnin Hopkins videos and a biography
from the awesome Classic Blues Videos