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Papa Lightfoot
Birth nameAlexander Lightfoot
Also known asPapa George Lightfoot
Born(1924-03-02)March 2, 1924
Origin Natchez, Mississippi, United States
DiedNovember 28, 1971(1971-11-28) (aged 47)
Genres Blues, Delta blues
Instrument(s) Vocals, harmonica

Papa Lightfoot, also known as Papa George Lightfoot (March 2, 1924 – November 28, 1971), born Alexander Lightfoot, was an American blues singer and harmonica player. [1]


Born in Natchez, Mississippi, Lightfoot recorded several sessions in his late twenties – for Peacock Records in 1949 [1] (which were never issued), Sultan Records in 1950, Aladdin Records in 1952, and Imperial Records in 1954. After final singles for Savoy Records in 1955 and Excello Records in 1956, [2] Lightfoot quit recording, still an obscure Southern blues harmonica player. [1]

As interest grew in rural Delta blues in the 1960s, Lightfoot's name became more well-known and, in 1969, record producer Steve LaVere went to Lightfoot's home town of Natchez, and asked him to record again. [3] The result was the album Natchez Trace, released on Vault Records in 1969, which brought Lightfoot briefly to the forefront of the blues revival. [1] Rural Blues Vol. 2 followed on Liberty Records later that same year. [4]

However, his comeback was cut short by his death in November 1971 of respiratory failure. [5]

The recordings were reissued in 1995 as Goin' Back to the Natchez Trace, with six additional tracks and recorded monologue. [6]

In 2009, Lightfoot was posthumously honored with a marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail in Natchez, granted by the Mississippi Blues Foundation. [7] [8]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Colin Larkin, ed. (1995). The Guinness Who's Who of Blues (Second ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 238. ISBN  0-85112-673-1.
  2. ^ "Illustrated Papa George Lightfoot discography". Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  3. ^ "Papa George Lightfoot | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  4. ^ "Papa George Lightfoot | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  5. ^ "The Dead Rock Stars Club - The 1970s". Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  6. ^ Bognadanov et al., p. 341
  7. ^ Mickens, Cassandra (September 5, 2009). "Blues Trail marker unveiled for Lightfoot". Mississippi's Best Community Newspaper. Retrieved 2020-07-22.{{ cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status ( link)
  8. ^ "The Mississippi Blues Trail - Complete List of Installed Markers". Retrieved 2015-03-12.


  • Papa Lightfoot at
  • AllMusic Guide to the Blues: the definitive guide to the blues, by Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra, Stephen Thomas Erlewine, p. 341 (page available in Google books)

External links