Tue, 01/31/2023 - 7:50am
This is a rough-draft of some footage Stephen Erlewine took back in 1970 at the second pivotal Arbor Blues Festival, where his brother Michael was in charge of food and drink for the blues artists, and also served as interviewer for scores of the performers. This was a life-changing experience and led some years later to Michael founding the All-Music Guide (AMG).
This video originally appeared here.
George Smith was born on April 22, 1924 in Helena, Arkansas, but was raised in Cairo, Illinois. At four Smith was already taking harp lessons from his mother, a guitar player, and a somewhat stern taskmaster -- it was a case of get it right or else. In his early teens, he started hoboing around the towns in the South and later joined Early Woods, a country band with Early Woods on fiddle and Curtis Gould on spoons. He also worked with a gospel group in Mississippi called the Jackson Jubilee Singers.