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Lead Belly (King of the 12-String Guitar)

Huddie Ledbetter, known as Lead Belly, was a matchless figure in American music of the 20th century. Ultimately, he was best remembered for a repertoire of songs that he discovered, learned, or wrote, including “Goodnight, Irene,””Rock Island Line,””The Midnight Special,” and “Cotton Fields.” His legacy is a early example of a folksinger whose background educated him about the oral tradition by which folk music was handed down, a tradition that, years later included elements of popular music. He became a major influence on folk performers of the 1940s such as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, who in turn influenced the folk revival and eventually the early development of rock & roll music from the 1960s. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 along with The Beatles, Berry Gordy, Bob Dylan and The Supremes.

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