Obits in Brief: Willie King
Wednesday 22 April 2009
The blues guitarist and singer Willie King, who died on 8 March aged 66, started out on a plantation playing a home-made diddly-bo – an instrument consisting of a wire stretched along a board, struck with a stick while sliding a stone, bottle neck or pocket knife along the string to control the pitch.
King was born in in Noxubee County, Mississippi, the son of sharecroppers. He worked as a travelling salesman before becoming a member of the civil rights movement. In 1997 he founded the Freedom Creek Blues Festival but didn't make his first album until 1999, the self-produced Walkin' the Walk, Talkin' the Talk.
King tried touring but became homesick and instead became a regular at Bettie's Juke Joint in Mississippi. He described his music as "struggle blues" because of its focus on the "injustices in life in the rural South".
The Dutch film-makers Saskia Rietmeijer and Bart Drolenga went to America to make a documentary about African-American arts and culture in the deep South. When they met King, they decided instead to devote their film to his life and times.
Over several months, the couple recorded King as he worked with his community in Pickens County and performed at festivals, juke joints and parties. The resulting DVD, Down in the Woods, was nominated for the Blues Music Awards in 2008. King also appeared in Martin Scorsese's 2003 documentary series, The Blues: Feel Like Going Home.
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...