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50" x 38", charcoal on paper. Mississippi John Hurt was a Delta bluesman and sharecropper from Avalon Mississippi. He made a few recordings in 1928, but they were not commercially successful. He stopped playing for the most part and continued to sharecrop. In 1963 Dick Spottswood heard those old recordings and, with Tom Hoskins, tracked him down in Avalon and brought him to Washington DC. This time he caught the folk music wave of the 1960’s and became one of the most popular and influential bluesmen of all time. He sang with sweetness, a gentle humor and sly double entendres, to his own melodious style of fingerpicking which owed more to the Piedmont blues tradition than the Delta. To this day he is revered by the best of the best. (The words in this image are the lyrics to Hurt’s Candy Man Blues, one of his sweetest--and sexiest--songs.)