Sunday, August 21, 2011



This is one of the great blues songs recorded by one of the more successful recording artists, Blind Lemon Jefferson, in 1927. For some of his gospel songs and the classic heard here, Jefferson recorded under the name "Deacon L.J. Bates".

Others like Lightnin' Hopkins have recorded the same song as "One Kind Favor". Canned Heat did, too. The U.K. band Half Man Half Biscuit recorded their own version and titled it "See That My Bike's Kept Clean".

Blind Lemon Jefferson died two years after he recorded the song, in 1929, at age 36. He froze to death in a Chicago snowstorm. Paramount Records paid for the return of Jefferson's body to his home state of Texas.

His grave that he wanted kept clean went worse for wear and even unmarked until 1967. By 1996 the cemetery and his marker were in unholy shape. It wasn't until 2007 that the cemetery changed its name from Wortham Negro Cemetery to Blind Lemon Memorial Cemetery, and you can make sure that this grave is kept clean (the location isn't exact but its bluesman-close) for Blind Lemon the next time you're in Wortham, Texas.

Lou Reed is Lou Reed. So was Harry Smith.