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Jack Kelly & His South Memphis Jug Band 1939 - 1939
Jack Kelly, vocal, guitar.
Genres: Memphis country blues. Jug band.
Memphis boasted a preponderance of jug bands and when record companies finally got round to recording the genre there were at least six formally organised bands working in the city. Four of those, Will Shade’s Memphis Jug Band, Gus Cannon’s jug Stompers, Jed Davenport’s Beale Street Jug Band and Jack Kelly’s South Memphis Jug Band, had fairly flourished recording careers.
Little is known of Jack Kelly. It is thought that he was born in northern Mississippi at the turn of the century, moving to Memphis in the twenties where he remained until his death around 1960. He is remembered as a street musician who worked with guitarist Frank Stokes, Dan Sane and fiddle player, Will Batts. Later Kelly, Sane and Batts augmented their sound with a jug player, DM Higgs, forming a group called the South Memphis Jug Band. Their repertoire tended to favour blues based material and the combination of two guitars, violin and jug produced a decidedly “country blues”. Continued...
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