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Papa Charlie Jackson

Papa Charlie Jackson was the first blues singer to record while accompanying himself on six string banjo. His first session was for Paramount in 1924 where he cut “Papa's Lawdy Blues” and “Airy Man Blues.”

Born in New Orleans in 1885, Jackson moved to Chicago in 1924, when Paramount’s J. Mayo Williams saw him singing in the street and recruited him for the label. Between 1924 and 1934 he cut around 70 sides.

Jackson was the first really successful self accompanied performer and he has the distinction of being one of the creators of “Hokum”, a spicy form of popular song that made repeated and continual references to sex, his most popular composition being “Shake That Thing.” He also recorded with Ma Rainey and Ida Cox before his subsequent death around 1938.

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