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The Devil and his Blues: James “Son Ford” Thomas

The Devil and his Blues: James “Son Ford” Thomas i n t e r v i e W . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Devil and his Blues James “Son Ford” Thomas with William R. Ferris “The blues is nothing but the Devil,” James Thomas (here) once said. “If you play spirituals, and you used to play the blues, the next thing you know, the Devil gets in you, and you’re going to start right back playing the blues. You can’t serve the Lord and the Devil, too.” All photographs courtesy of the William R. Ferris Collection in the Southern Folklife Collection, Wilson Special Collections Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 5 i n t r o D u c t i o n Leland was my gateway to the world of Mississippi Delta blues. It was here dur- ing the summ er of 19 8 that I first met James “Son Ford” Thomas, a gifted musi- cian, storyteller, and sculptor. We became friends, and our lives remained closely tied together for over twenty-six years until his death . in All 199 en Ginsberg referred to Thomas as “my guru,” a http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

The Devil and his Blues: James “Son Ford” Thomas

Southern Cultures , Volume 15 (3) – Aug 13, 2009

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Center for the Study of the American South.
ISSN
1534-1488

Abstract

i n t e r v i e W . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Devil and his Blues James “Son Ford” Thomas with William R. Ferris “The blues is nothing but the Devil,” James Thomas (here) once said. “If you play spirituals, and you used to play the blues, the next thing you know, the Devil gets in you, and you’re going to start right back playing the blues. You can’t serve the Lord and the Devil, too.” All photographs courtesy of the William R. Ferris Collection in the Southern Folklife Collection, Wilson Special Collections Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 5 i n t r o D u c t i o n Leland was my gateway to the world of Mississippi Delta blues. It was here dur- ing the summ er of 19 8 that I first met James “Son Ford” Thomas, a gifted musi- cian, storyteller, and sculptor. We became friends, and our lives remained closely tied together for over twenty-six years until his death . in All 199 en Ginsberg referred to Thomas as “my guru,” a

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Aug 13, 2009

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