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Calvin Frazier biography



Calvin H. Frazier was born in Osceola, Arkansas, In 1935 Frazier was involved in dispute in Memphis, Tennessee where he was wounded and another man was shot dead. Frazier returned to Detroit, and married a cousin of Shines. He played guitar as an accompanist to Big Maceo Merriweather, Sonny Boy Williamson II and Baby Boy Warren before, in 1938, he was recorded by the folklorist Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress. His recordings included "Lily Mae", a revised version of Johnson's "Honeymoon Blues"; and "Highway 51", another variant, this time of Johnson's track, "Dust My Broom". His unique style combined slide guitar work with unusual lyrics, and a vocal phrasing that was difficult to decipher. Calvin Frazier died in Detroit of cancer in September 1972, at the age of 57. His most notable work was "This Old World's in a Tangle"; both the title of the first song he recorded, and of the compilation album issued by Laurie Records in 1993, which included some of his earliest work. In 2009, the Detroit Blues Society instigated an appeal to raise monies to mark Frazier's previously unmarked grave with a headstone. Compilation album This Old World's in a Tangle (1993) - Laurie