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Lyle Leadbelly & accordions (25) RE: Ledbelly & accordions 03 Jan 00


From "The Life and Legend of Leadbelly," by Charles Wolf and Kip Lornell (1992) - page 16:

(he had talked to his parents to get him some kind of instrument he could play).. "When Huddie was seven, this dream came true when his Uncle Terrell dropped by the house, returning by mule from Mooringsport. A "windjammer" (a small button accordion) hung from the saddle and he gave it to his excited nephew. Huddie worked on it all evening and into the night, trying to find the proper combination of rhythm and buttons to make a tune. His experience wore down Sallie and Wes's patience, but they understook his enthusiasm. By morning Huddie had mastered a rough version of "There's No Cornbread Here." A few days later his mother taught him an old jig called "Dinah's Got A Wooden Leg." Soon she was adding to his repertoire some of the lullabies and sprituals she sang in church, and Huddie was learning that the windjammer could be as much at home in curch as it was at the local square dance."

This book (one of the best sources I've found) also notes that Huddie played harmonica, Jew's harp, piano, and the reed organ at the old Shilo Church BEFORE he learned the guitar.

I've got tons of notes from all over about Huddie, but he is one (of many!) that I haven't had a chance to get organized yet. I do remember, however, that he talked on stage about carrying his windjammer to the sukey jumps.

Hope this helps.

Lyle


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