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Cheating And Lying Blues

Robert Nighthawk


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Robert McCollum


Legendry bluesman Robert Nighthawk performs live on Chicago's Maxwell Street in 1964.

Robert Lee McCollum, a rambling country blues man from Arkansas, resurfaced in Chicago as the electric slide guitarist named Robert Nighthawk and began recording for Aristocrat and Chess Records in 1949 and 1950. Although he continued to perform and to record throughout the early 50's he failed to achieve great commercial success.

In 1963 Nighthawk was rediscovered busking in Chicago and this led to further recording sessions and club dates, and to his return to Arkansas, where he appeared on the King Biscuit Time radio program on KFFA. As late as 1964, Nighthawk could be found playing on Chicago's Maxwell Street. He had a stroke followed by a heart attack, and died of heart failure on November 5, 1967 at his home in Helena.

*Nighthawk was honored by the Mississippi Blues Commission places a historic marker in Friars Point, Mississippi, marking his position on the Mississippi Blues Trail. Governor Haley Barbour stated the following: "This talented Mississippian made a huge contribution to development of that unique genre of music, the Mississippi blues. I am pleased Nighthawk’s imprint on the blues scene, which is still heard through the tunes of modern-day blues artists, will be recognized with his inclusion on the Mississippi Blues Trail."

The marker was placed at Friars Point, as Nighthawk called this town his home at various times during his itinerant career. He also recorded a song called "Friars Point Blues" in 1940.

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