Barbeque Bob (1902-1931) Robert Hicks was born in 1902 at Walnut Grove, Georgia, and learned guitar from his brother, who recorded under the name Charlie Lincoln. Around 1920 Hicks moved to Atlanta; his employment at a local restaurant gave rise to his recording name, Barbeque Bob. Between 1927 and 1920, Hicks recorded fifty-five sides. His twelve-string guitar style was among the most percussive found in blues, setting him apart from some like-sounding Georgians. He died in 1931.
Big Bill Broonzy (1898 – 1958) Born in 1898, Bill Broonzy played Violin in the vicinity of Little Rock, Arkansas, before moving to Chicago where he took up guitar in the early 1920’s. He first recorded in 1927 and became a hit-maker during the next decade, enjoying a continuous recording career up to his death in 1958. He was associated with a sound rather than a signature song and his warm voice, facile touch, and strong beat earned him popularity as both a city and country blues stylist.
Blind Blake (recorded 1926 – 1932) Jacksonville, Florida’s Arthur (Blind) Blake ranks among the most accomplished rag and blues guitarists of all time. In the 1920s he based he career in Chicago. Between 1926 and 1932 he recorded nearly eighty sides for Paramount, afterwards fading into obscurity. Unlike many blind blues performers, Blake played up-tempo dance-oriented music. His polished technique and effortless-sounding improvisations attracted many imitators, but admitted no equals.