Saturday, November 26, 2011

Delta Blues Odyssey . . . Robert Nighthawk

While maybe not as famous as some of the other entries on our blues odyssey, Robert Lee McCollum, the Prowling Night-Hawk, was a very influential slide guitarist. A representative story to illustrate his badassitude was when he played at Muddy Waters first wedding (as if that isn't cool enough), the crowd got so worked up that the floor caved-in.

Little Jailhouse Gumbo standing outside the Riverside Hotel in Clarksdale (there will be a future blog entry on our stay there) holding a suitcase left at the establishment by Robert Nighthawk not long before he died. "Rat" (the proprietor of Riverside who can be seen in the background standing at the door conversing with Screamin' Killer Davis) related the story of how his mother threw away the contents, but kept the suitcase after Nighthawk's death.

Historical marker along the Mississippi Blues Trail for Robert Nighthawk in Friars Point. He was a man constantly on the move, but he called Friars Point his home more than a couple of times.

Robert Nighthawk's guitar and amplifier exhibited at the Delta Culture Center in Helena, Arkansas.

The gravestone for Robert Nighthawk (on the right) and the gravestone for Frank Frost of the Jelly Roll Kings (on the left) in Helena, Arkansas. Robert Nighthawk's son Sam Carr was also in the Jelly Roll Kings.

Even though Nighthawk only died in 1967, the grave was unmarked and the location within the cemetery is unknown, so his monument was placed next to fellow bluesman Frost.

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