Casey Bill Weldon biography

Casey Bill Weldon (July 10, 1909–196?) was an African-American blues musician born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas who later lived and worked in Chicago, known as one of the great early pioneers of the slide guitar. He played upbeat, hokum and country blues tunes, both as a solo artist and as a member of a band. He is also known as a member of the Memphis Jug Band, with whom he played and recorded. Among the premier "Hawaiian-style" blues guitarists, "Casey Bill" Weldon's voicings, fluidity and tunings were creative and imaginative, as were his arrangements. He was married to Memphis Minnie in the '20s with the two making influential recordings together in the late '20s. Weldon played in medicine shows before beginning his recording career in 1927 for Victor. In 1927 Weldon made a recording with Charles Polk and other members of what would become the Memphis Jug Band for Victor Records. In October of that year, Victor brought them to Atlanta where they recorded several sides, including "Kansas City Blues". In 1930, the last year of the Memphis Jug Band's contract with Victor, the band recorded 20 sides. The contract ended after a final recording session in November 1930 in Memphis just before the financial crash of the 1930s bankrupted Victor. He scored solo hits with his two most well known songs, "Somebody Changed the Lock on My Door" and "We Gonna Move (to the Outskirts of Town)." In October 1927, when the Victor field recording unit visited Atlanta, Georgia, he recorded two sides, including a chilling, haunting song called "Turpentine Blues", which would have left him immortalized if he had never recorded again. He did not enter another recording studio until eight years later, when he laid down many recordings for Vocalion Records. Weldon also played with Charlie Burse and the Picanniny Jug Band and the Brown Bombers of Swing. Considering the fact that most slide guitarists of the era went unrecorded, Weldon maintains a healthy amount of recorded material for aficionados to appreciate. After his divorce from Memphis Minnie, he disappeared from the public eye and stopped recording by 1938. His date of death is unknown, though assumed to be sometime in the 1960s. Style He played a National steel guitar flat on his lap Hawaiian style. His slide guitar solos were emotional and unique. His style of playing was highly influential on the emerging Chicago Blues style.