Mississippi John Hurt

Mississippi John Hurt, a gentle and talented folk-blues artist, brought a unique warmth and simplicity to his music that captivated audiences and fellow musicians alike. Here's a brief profile of his life and career:

Early Life and Musical Beginnings

Mississippi John Hurt was born on March 8, 1892, in Teoc, Mississippi. He learned to play the guitar at a young age, drawing inspiration from the rich musical traditions of the Mississippi Delta. Hurt's early influences included blues, spirituals, and traditional folk music, which he skillfully blended into his own distinctive style.


Hurt's musical career began in the 1920s when he played at local dances, parties, and juke joints throughout Mississippi. Despite his talent, he remained relatively unknown outside of his local community until he was discovered by folklorist Tom Hoskins in 1963.

Rediscovery and Revival

In 1963, nearly four decades after his original recordings, Mississippi John Hurt was rediscovered by folk music enthusiasts during the folk revival of the 1960s. He was brought to national prominence through appearances at folk festivals and concerts, where his gentle demeanor and soulful music endeared him to audiences.

Recording Career and Albums

Mississippi John Hurt's rediscovery led to a recording contract with Vanguard Records, resulting in the release of several albums, including "Today!" (1966), "The Best of Mississippi John Hurt" (1966), and "Last Sessions" (1972). These recordings showcased Hurt's masterful guitar playing, tender vocals, and heartfelt songwriting, earning him critical acclaim and a devoted following.

Legacy and Influence

Mississippi John Hurt's influence on the folk and blues music scenes of the 1960s and beyond was profound. His gentle, melodic guitar style and warm, inviting voice inspired countless musicians, including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Jerry Garcia.

Famous Songs and Cover Versions

Hurt's repertoire included timeless classics such as "Candy Man Blues," "Frankie," and "Richland Woman Blues," which have been covered by numerous artists over the years. His songs continue to be celebrated for their simple beauty and emotional resonance, enduring as classics of the folk-blues genre.

Later Years and Legacy

Mississippi John Hurt continued to perform and record until his death on November 2, 1966, leaving behind a legacy of music that continues to inspire and enchant listeners around the world. His gentle spirit and timeless songs remain a testament to the enduring power of the blues and folk music traditions.

Mississippi John Hurt's legacy as a gentle soul and masterful musician lives on through his timeless recordings and enduring influence on the folk and blues music scenes.