Blind Lemon Jefferson: His Life, His Death, and His Legacy
by Robert Lesley Uzzel
Between 1926 and his untimely death in 1929, Blind Lemon Jefferson was the largest-selling African-American blues singer in the United States. Blind from birth, Lemon wandered the streets of Wortham, Groesbeck, Marlin and Kosse in Central Texas, playing his guitar and soliciting contributions with his tin cup. In 1912 he caught a train to Dallas, where he performed in the famous Deep Ellum district. He was discovered by a talent scout for Paramount Records and taken to Chicago in 1925. Between 1926 and 1929, Lemon recorded more than a hundred titles and traveled extensively. His musical influence was widespread, affecting white and African-American musicians alike and extending to musical forms other than the blues. Robert L. Uzzel, was born in Waco, Texas, holds a doctor of philosophy degree from Baylor University. He has been a miister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church since 1975 and currently serves as pastor of Forest Hill AME Church in Fort Worth. His articles on theological and historical subjects have appeared in a number of publicatioons.
There is now light at the end of the tunnel. Since 1989, thirty-seven mainstream (white) Grand Lodges have extended fraternal recognition to their Prince Hall counterparts. It is our hope that we will eventually see the end of the contradiction of a color line in an organization dedicated to the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man.
History of the Book:
I lived and worked in Freestone County, Texas from December 1974 to March 1977. Wortham is in Freestone County, 18 miles from Teague, where I then lived.
I first heard of Blind Lemon shortly after my arrival there. I worked on this book off and on for nearly 25 years.
I sought not only to honor a great musician but also to enable my readers to have a greater appreciation for therichness and diversity of African American music
Robert Lesley Uzzel - March 30, 2015
Above was provided by the author.