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Tampa Red

One of the most popular artists of the 20s, 30s and 40s, Tampa red was probably the all-time best-selling Georgia bluesman. He may well have been the most influential bottleneck stylist in blues. He perfected the single-string slide attack and smooth bottleneck tones mimicked by a number of Georgians and later post-war artists.

Tampa Red became known during the 1920s and ‘30s as “The Guitar Wizard,” the musician developing a unique slide-guitar style that was picked up and expanded upon by Robert Nighthawk, Chuck Berry, and Duane Allman, among other followers. Born in Smithville, Georgia in 1904 as Hudson Whitaker, he earned the nickname “Tampa Red” for his bright red hair and upbringing in Florida.

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