Born blind in the town of Thomson, Georgia, Blind Willie McTell learned how to play guitar in his early teens. He soon became a street performer around several Georgia cities, such as Atlanta and Augusta, and first recorded in 1927 for Victor Records. Although he never produced a major hit record, McTell’s recording career was prolific, recording for different labels under different names throughout the 1920s and 30s. In 1940, he was recorded by John Lomax for the Library of Congress’s folk song archive. He would remain active throughout the 1940s and 50s, playing on the streets of Atlanta, often with his longtime associate, Curley Weaver. Twice more he recorded professionally. McTell’s last recordings originated during an impromptu session recorded by an Atlanta record store owner in 1956. McTell would die three years later after suffering for years from diabetes and alcoholism.
Third Man Records is thrilled to announce the release of the first three records in our highly-anticipated Document Records reissue series.
Pre-orders are available now in our online store (with a January 29th in-store release date) for Volume 1 of The Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order of Charley Patton, Blind Willie McTell and The Mississippi Sheiks. The first 400 customers to purchase the bundle of all three records will receive a free 5″ x 8″ print insert of the Rob Jones Charley Patton cover image.
Subsequent volumes will be released regularly and new artists will be slotted for release from this fantastic catalog of blues greats as soon as this first series is complete.
The recordings we’ll be presenting in this reissue series are the building blocks and DNA of American culture. Blues, R&B, Elvis, teenagerism, punk rock… it all goes back to these vital, breathtaking recordings. Third Man Records is proud to present these landmark albums in conjunction with Document Records, with brand new, jaw-dropping artwork by Rob Jones and new insightful liner notes, on vinyl for the first time in decades. Every record collection should have ample room for these highly important and endlessly listenable albums.