King of the One-String

King of the One-String ESSAY by Fetzer Mills Jr. with photo· by Tom Rankin Glen Faulkner at home, Panola County, Mississippi, 199J. Allphotographs by Tom Rankin. any Mississippi blues musicians -- among them, Elmore James, Eddie Cusic, Big Jack Johnson, Lonnie Pitchford, and Napoleon Strickland -- began their musical careers by learning as cliüdren to play a one-stringed homemade instrument sometimes caUed a diddley-bow.1 A diddley-bow is usuaUy made by naiHng a wire to a wall or a board and using smaU bottles (often snuff bottles) as bridges at both ends of die wire. The instrument is ordinarily played widi a sUde of some sort, often a knife or a bottle. When buüt on a board, it is usually played on the lap, Hke a mountain dulcimer or lap steel guitar. The diddley-bow probably evolved from a musical bow commonly found in most of sub-Saharan Africa but particularly prevalent on Africa's west coast, from which most American slaves were taken.* Sometimes, however, the same instru- ment seems to have been invented independendy by poverty-stricken but musicaUy inclined individuals with no knowledge ofits African antecedents. Bluesman Lonnie Pitchford of Holmes County, Mississippi, for instance, says he figured out how to make one on http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

King of the One-String

Southern Cultures, Volume 5 (1) – Jan 4, 1999

Loading next page...
 
/lp/university-of-north-carolina-press/king-of-the-one-string-aQfvpWawWY
Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Center for the Study of the American South.
ISSN
1534-1488
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ESSAY by Fetzer Mills Jr. with photo· by Tom Rankin Glen Faulkner at home, Panola County, Mississippi, 199J. Allphotographs by Tom Rankin. any Mississippi blues musicians -- among them, Elmore James, Eddie Cusic, Big Jack Johnson, Lonnie Pitchford, and Napoleon Strickland -- began their musical careers by learning as cliüdren to play a one-stringed homemade instrument sometimes caUed a diddley-bow.1 A diddley-bow is usuaUy made by naiHng a wire to a wall or a board and using smaU bottles (often snuff bottles) as bridges at both ends of die wire. The instrument is ordinarily played widi a sUde of some sort, often a knife or a bottle. When buüt on a board, it is usually played on the lap, Hke a mountain dulcimer or lap steel guitar. The diddley-bow probably evolved from a musical bow commonly found in most of sub-Saharan Africa but particularly prevalent on Africa's west coast, from which most American slaves were taken.* Sometimes, however, the same instru- ment seems to have been invented independendy by poverty-stricken but musicaUy inclined individuals with no knowledge ofits African antecedents. Bluesman Lonnie Pitchford of Holmes County, Mississippi, for instance, says he figured out how to make one on

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jan 4, 1999

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off