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Gus Cannon

Biography

As a child, jug band blues progenitor Gus Cannon made his first guitar out of a frying pan and a raccoon skin. By the time he led his own band in the 1920s (Cannon's Jug Band Stompers), he was also playing the banjo, piano and fiddle, with the banjo eventually becoming his instrument of choice. In 1963 folk revivalists the Rooftop Singers scored a No. 1 hit with Cannon's "Walk Right In," and Stax Records quickly unearthed the long-dormant bluesman and recorded a set of his songs. The resultant record was limited to only 500 copies, a fact that explains Cannon's obscurity to this day. He played a form of blues that sounded old-timey -- a sort of country ragtime music -- with the banjo as the main instrument.

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