Sleepy John Estes (1899-1977)
Heroes of the Blues Trading Tees Card #19
Art by R. Crumb Text by Stephen Calt
One of the blues' most expressive vocalists, John Estes was born in 1899 in Ripley, Tennessee. He later moved to his lifelong home of Brownsville, where he learned guitar from Hambone Willie Newbern. Between 1929 and 1941, he recorded fifty sides, generally in an ensemble format that marked a departure from the usual country blues vein. Estes' tunes were notable for their topical references to local people and events. His career revived during the 1960's and he died in 1977. Sleepy John Estes was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1991.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this Keep On Truckin' Apparel exclusive t-shirt will be donated to Music Maker Relief Foundation.