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Howling Wolf Blues (no 4)

Funny Papa Smith


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The Original Howlin' Wolf


Recorded in Chicago on January 10, 1931 featuring J. T. "Funny Papa" Smith (guitar & vocals).

Among the most obscure of Texas bluesmen John T. "Funny Papa" Smith was born sometime between the years 1880 and 1890. He traveled playing parties and fish fries at times with Texas Alexander and "Little Hat" Jones. In his youth his extensive rambling brought him to work at the Lincoln Theater in New York City and also live in Oklahoma for a time. There isn't much known about his life and he has been mistakenly billed as both "Cool Papa and even "Funny Paper" Smith due to record company error. In 1931 he killed a man during a fight in a gambling joint and was sent to the Texas Penitentiary bringing an end to his career. He made some recordings for Vocalion in 1935 but they were never released.

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