Josh White - The Riddle Song - Classic Blues Videos
beautiful Blues ballad in 1949
Blues and Folk legend Josh White performs "The Riddle Song" in the film The Walking Hills in 1949.
Joshua Daniel White (February 11, 1914 – September 5, 1969), best known as Josh White, was an American singer, guitarist, songwriter, actor, and civil rights activist. In the early 1930s, he also recorded under the names "Pinewood Tom" and "Tippy Barton."
White grew up in the Jim Crow South. He later became a 1920s and 1930s star of race records, with a prolific output of recordings in genres including Piedmont blues, country blues, gospel, and social protest songs. He was billed in concert as "The Sensation of the South". In 1931, White moved to New York and within a decade his fame had spread widely, and his repertoire expanded to include urban blues, jazz, Tin Pan Alley, cabaret, folk songs from around the world, and hard-hitting political protest songs. He soon was in demand as an actor on radio, Broadway, and film. However, his pioneering guitar playing never altered or diminished, while some would even argue it broadened with the expansion of his musical repertoire.
White also would become the closest African-American friend and confidant to the president of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Ironically however, White's anti-segregationist and international human rights political stance presented in many of his recordings and in his speeches at rallies resulted in the right-wing McCarthyites incorrectly assuming that he must have been a Communist. Accordingly, from 1947 through the mid 1960s, White was caught in the vise grip of the anti-Communist Red Scare, and combined with his resulting attempt to clear his name, his career was harmed immeasurably. However, regardless of the purists' debate over the artistic change in his presentation or from those who opposed his politics, White unarguably inspired several generations of guitarists with his new and unique stylings and techniques, and is cited as a major musical and social influence by dozens of future stars, including Blind Boy Fuller, Brownie McGhee, Pete Seeger, Lena Horne, Nat King Cole, Harry Belafonte, Lonnie Donegan, Eartha Kitt, Alexis Korner, Odetta, Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, the Kingston Trio, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, Merle Travis, Dave Van Ronk, Peter, Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan, Eric Weissberg, Judy Collins, Mike Bloomfield, Danny Kalb, Roger McGuinn, David Crosby, Richie Havens, Don McLean, Roy Harper, Ry Cooder, John Fogerty, Eva Cassidy and Jack White.
Wikipedia contributors. "Josh White." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 28 Oct. 2010. Web. 18 Nov. 2010.