Sylvester Weaver


Sylvester Weaver

Sylvester Weaver
Sylvester Weaver with Sara Martin.

Sylvester Weaver with Sara Martin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sylvester Weaver with Sara Martin.
Background information
Born July 25, 1897
Louisville, KentuckyUnited States
Died April 4, 1960 (aged 62)
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Genres Bluescountry blues
Occupations Guitarist
Instruments Slide guitarguitjo
Associated acts Sara Martin, Walter Beasley,Helen Humes

Sylvester Weaver (July 25, 1897 – April 4, 1960) was an American blues guitar player and pioneer of country blues.

Biography

On October 23, 1923, he recorded in New York City with the blues singer Sara Martin“Longing for Daddy Blues” / “I’ve Got to Go and Leave My Daddy Behind” and two weeks later as a soloist “Guitar Blues” / “Guitar Rag”. Both recordings were released on Okeh Records. These recordings are the very first country-blues recordings and the first known recorded songs using the slide guitar style. “Guitar Rag” (played on a Guitjo) became a blues classic and was covered in the 1930s by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys as “Steel Guitar Rag” and became a country music standard too.

Weaver recorded until 1927, sometimes accompanied by Sara Martin, about 50 additional songs. On some recordings from 1927 he was accompanied by Walter Beasley and the singer Helen Humes. Weaver often used the bottleneck-style method, playing his guitar with a knife. His recordings were quite successful but in 1927 he retired and went back to Louisville until his death in 1960. Though many country blues artists had a revival from the 1950s on, Weaver died almost forgotten.

In 1992 his complete works were released on two CDs, the same year his (up to then anonymous) grave got a headstone by engagement of the Louisville-based Kentuckiana Blues Society (KBS). Furthermore the KBS has annually honored since 1989 persons who rendered outstanding services to the blues with their Sylvester Weaver Award.

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