Remembering Furry Lewis on his Birthday

Remembering Furry Lewis on his Birthday

The man known as the Father of Blues

Furry Lewis was born March 6, 1893. He was considered by many as the Father of blues and lived a life engulfed in music, though his contributions went beyond music. He was a man of humor, he took his music far beyond traditional blues and in all aspects of the word he was a true entertainer.

Furry Lewis was born Walter Lewis in the country town of Greenwood Mississippi. Furry Lewis began playing guitar at a young age though the exact age is unknown. Of course in back roads of Mississippi I doubt anyone thought it would be that important to know the exact date of when he first picked up some run down guitar to string his first note.

Furry Lewis had run away from his childhood home and hooked up with Jim Jackson. He made what little money he could under Jackson helping him out on a traveling medicine show, in many ways this short time could have been his first introduction to entertainment.

One of Furry Lewis’s first musical partnerships was with W.C. Handy, who according to Lewis had given him his first “good” guitar. Furry had spent a bit of time in the hobo life and had actually lost a leg as a result of this time. Regardless of the loss of his leg, Furry went on struggling do odd jobs and playing music until he managed to pull himself into the entertainment world. Furry Lewis was known for his hits Kassie Jones, Rock Island Blues and Mean Old bedbug Blues, he continued to make music, sing and entertain until he had become ill and died at the age of 88 in 1981.