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Blind Lemon Jefferson
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    (September 24, 1893-December 19, 1929)
    Born in Coutchman, Texas
    Blues guitarist and singer
    Songs include 'Black Snake Moan,' 'Matchbox Blues,' 'Long Lonesome Blues,' 'Jack O'Diamonds,' 'Bad Luck Blues,' 'Mean Jumper Blues' and 'See That My Grave Is Kept Clean'
    Inaugural member of the Blues Hall of Fame (1980)
    Little is known about his life, with many stories contradicting each other.
    There is only one known photo of him, and it was heavily retouched. (For example, the tie he is shown wearing was painted in by hand.)
    His death is a mystery, with claims that he was poisoned by a jealous lover; was killed in a mugging; had a fatal heart attack after being attacked by a dog; or froze to death after becoming disoriented in a snow storm.
    He was buried in an unmarked grave.
    When a tombstone was erected over his grave (1967), it featured an incorrect year of birth.
    Jefferson Airplane got their name from a convoluted joke about him.
    He was blind from birth.
    He was the first commercially successful male blues singer.
    His guitar playing was known for its intricate but fast finger work.
    He influenced fellow blues legends Robert Johnson, Leadbelly, Lightnin' Hopkins, T-Bone Walker and B.B. King.
    His 'Matchbox Blues' was listed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the '500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.'
    A corrected tombstone was erected (1997) and the graveyard where he was buried was renamed the Blind Lemon Memorial Cemetery (2007).
    He was depicted on the 'Enjoy Texas Music' license plate.

Credit: C. Fishel

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