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Prowling Groundhog

Sam Chatmon


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Charley Patton's half-brother?


Sam Chatmon (guitar & vocals) performs "Prowling Groundhog" for Alan Lomax form the comfort of his home in Hollandale, Mississippi in August 1978.

Sam appeared on records with his violinist brother Lonnie's band the Mississippi Sheiks in the early 1930s. His father, a fiddler named Henderson Chatmon, had children by three different women. Sam claimed that the number of his fathers offspring amounted to sixty children, thirteen of which were his mothers'. It seems he may have embellished a bit giving doubt to his claim of being related to the legendary Charley Patton. So the Question remains was Sam Chatmon, Charley Patton's half-brother? The genealogy remains unsubstantiated, but Sam's father reportedly had an affair with Patton's mother during the 1890s.

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