Rural Mississippi still had a lot of Civil War veterans in 1913. News of the automobile had gotten around to many and ten years earlier a couple bothers in North Carolina flew a machine for about 100 feet. In terms of musicians in Mississippi there were some giants about to appear on the scene. Charlie Patton wrote his first songs in 1910. Eddie James "Son" House was born in 1902, but the music world had not yet heard of him since he was only 11 years old. Robert Johnson also was born in rural Mississippi, but in 1913 he was only 2 years old. It was into this world that Joe Willie Perkins was born July 7, 1913, on the Honey Island plantation near Belzoni, Mississippi. The nickname "Pinetop" came years later when his playing of “Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie” (a popular 1920s recording by pianist Clarence “Pinetop” Smith) caught the attention of many and became his signature tune.
More on Pinetop Perkins...
- For an informative obituary on Pinetop Perkins, Click Here
- Interview with Pinetop Perkins at age 95 on NPR: