Friday, September 23, 2005

mp3s by Sleepy John Estes


Born January 25, 1904, in Ripley, Tennessee, Sleepy John Estes life in my mind really embodies the blues. And he was truly a blues poet who wrote and lived the blues.

He was one of a sharecropping family of ten. His father Daniel was a guitarist, and this influenced his son to play. Young Estes was blinded in his right eye from a baseball accident at the age of six, and he later in life lost vision in his other eye and was completly blind. He was called "Sleepy" due to a chronic blood pressure disorder that caused him to have marcolepsy episodes, where he would fall asleep at the most unexpected times.

He made his living playing in jug bands during the teens and twenties. Playing house parties, picnics, and the streets in the Brownsville area from 1919 to 1927. He did some recordings during this time, you can check out some of his stuff at Sleepy John Estes'

Sleepy Estes was rediscovered in 1962 during the blues revival that revived the careers of Mississippi John Hurt, Son House, and Skip James. He cut several albums for Delmark and returned to touring with Hammie Nixon before health problems confined him to Brownsville.

Sleepy John Estes died June 5, 1977, and is buried at Durhamville Baptist Church in Durhamville, Tennessee.


Sleepy John Estes page
at the National Parks Service "Links to the Past" site

John Adam Estes @


"The Girl I Love, She Got Long Curly Hair" (2:59, 522kB) - 55581-1-Vi V38549, Memphis TN, 24 September, 1929

"Milk Cow Blues" (3:05, 540 kB) - 59918-2-Vi V38614, Memphis TN, 13 May, 1930

"Someday Baby Blues" (3:02, 531 kB) - 90096-A-Ch 50068, Chicago, 9 July, 1935


file under;

Stumble Upon Toolbar
Post a Comment