Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Today in Comics History, April 30: Happy birthday, Reverend Gary Davis!

Born on this day in 1896: blues and gospel singer Reverend Gary Davis (also know as Blind Gary Davis), whose fingerpicking style influenced generations of blues performers.

from Heroes of the Blues trading cards; reprinted in The Complete Crumb Comics v.13: The Season of the Snoid (Fantagraphics, April 1998), by Robert Crumb

In the middle of the 1920s, Davis moved to Durham, North Carolina and recorded much classic work (later collected on the essential The Complete Early Recordings), and collaborated with many other Piedmont Blues musicians including Blind Boy Fuller and Bull City Red. I take especial note of that not merely because that guy's got a "Bull" in his name, but because it taught me that Durham was nicknamed the "Bull City" in the late 1800s when the Blackwell Tobacco Company named its product "Bull" Durham Tobacco. And now you know...the rest of the story. And spit that tobacco out; that's disgusting.

Happy birthday, Reverend!

"Samson and Delilah," performed by Reverend Gary Davis

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