Today is the birthday of Blind Boy Fuller (Fulton Allen, 1907-1941), pre-eminent exponent of the Piedmont style of country blues. His blindness began in his teenage years and was complete by the time he was 21. Up until that time he had worked as a field hand and laborer in his native North Carolina and learned to play music. His recording career began in 1935 and continued until his death in 1941. Unlike many in the annals of the blues, he enjoyed substantial popularity during his youth (which is a good thing since he didn’t, like many others, live long enough to enjoy his rediscovery in the 1950s and 60s).
To find out more about the history of show business consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.