Booker T. Washington "Bukka" White (November 12, 1906  – February 26, 1977) was an American Delta blues guitarist and singer. Bukka was rescued from the darkness by enthusiastic music lovers - twice, He was in a dark place very far from his music and oth times, he was rescued by enthusiastic musical archaeologists. On the first occasion, he was (condemned for shooting someone) and was in Parchman Farm, a brutal Mississippi prison. He was a black prisoner in the during the racist era of 1940s. As we know from the Prison work songs, the prisoners worked under unbearable conditions, from sunrise until nightfall. Listen carefully and open your mind and you’ll clearly hear the deprivation, misery and fear in those songs. During that time, the blues community should be eternally grateful that musicologist Alan Lomax arrived to record some of these songs.

When Bukka was released from prison, he recorded a collection of songs about his incarceration. (i.e. Parchman Farm Blues) But then he disappeared again. He was conscripted to the US Navy in World War II from 1942 to 1944. When he returned to Memphis, he ended up working at a junkyard. His songs had been covered by figures such as Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. Bob Dylan covered his song "Fixing' to Die Blues, Bukka had recorded the song simply because his other songs had not particularly impressed his record producer. It was a studio composition of which Bukka had thought little until it re-emerged thirty years later.

Two enthusiasts then found him and told him about the passion he inspired among white musicians and finally convinced him to sing again. Bukka toured for a few years with some success and even helped his cousin, BB King. He died in 1977, aged 71, of cancer - a legend indeed.

Parchman Farm Blues Click to download