Meet Fred McDowell of the 20th century who amazed whites with his guitar skills

Meet Fred McDowell of the 20th century who amazed whites with his guitar skills

- A Black man born between 1904 and 1906 grew up as a farmer but later became renowned around the world as a guitarist

- The journey began for Fred McDowell when he was only 14, learned how to play the guitar and started playing for tips at random events

- His big break came after he was 60 and got discovered by Chris Strachwitz who helped Fred record his music and share it with the world

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Fred McDowell, a Black man born between 1904 and 1906 in Rossville, Tennessee spent most of his life as a farmer but ended up shocking the world as a guitar genius.

A report sighted by on Face2FaceAfrica indicates that McDowell learned to play the guitar by 14 but it was not until he was 37 that he managed to own one.

All through the years, after he learned to play, the talented guitarist still worked as a full-time farmer with only a few performances for tips.

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Meet Fred McDowell of the 20th century who amazed whites with his guitar skills
Source: UGC
Source: UGC

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McDowell played for tips at dances around Rossville but later moved to Memphis in 1926 seeking greener pastures.

By the year 1928 the farmer was in Mississippi picking cotton, finally settling in Como, Mississippi in the 1940s where he would become renowned.

When he turned 60, McDowell still played at dances and picnics but was discovered by Chris Strachwitz, a man who shared the profound gift the Black man possessed with the guitar.

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See video of McDowell playing below:

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Chris, a blues enthusiast and owner of the fledgling Arhoolie label, recorded him commercially.

Two albums – Fred McDowell, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 – were released through Arhoolie in the mid 1960s and the shock waves were felt throughout the folk-blues community, amazing both Black and whites alike.

In 1965 he toured Europe with the American Folk Blues Festival together with Big Mama Thornton, John Lee, Buddy Guy, Roosevelt Sykes, and others.

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He was also well documented on film with appearances in The Blues Maker (1968) and his own documentary, Fred McDowell (1969).

In a separate report, a Black man named Clarence Moses-EL was declared guilty in 1988 and sentenced to 48 years in prison for sexually assaulting a woman after the lady saw his face in a dream.

In a report gathered by and sighted by, the infamous event occurred during a summer night in 1987.

A woman in Denver, Colorado who had a drink out with three men was left partially blind and in her attempt to recount who was responsible described Clarence.

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