Honeyboy Edwards

1915–2011

A student of Patton’s and a colleague of Johnson, Edwards was the source of many first-hand accounts of the blues.

David Honeyboy Edwards is best known for his retelling of Robert Johnson’s legend, where the King of the Blues sold his soul to the devil in exchange for the talent to make music. Both musicians lived near Dockery in their youth and often performed and recorded together, learning from each other and influencing each other’s styles.

Edwards said in his autobiography, of his fellow Delta musicians, “They’d pick cotton all through the day, and at night they’d sit around and play the guitars. Drinking that white whiskey, that moonshine, I’d just sit and look at them. I’d say, ‘I wish I could play.’ ”

Edwards performed and toured until his death in August 2011, playing up to 100 shows a year. He won a Grammy in 2008 for his album: Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen: Live in Dallas.

 

Sources: Robert Palmer's definitive Deep Blues, Wikipedia, AllMusic, NPR's Take Five, The Mississippi Blues Trail, and Dr. David Evans.