Written by 11:47 am Blues Legends

Bukka White : Unleashing the Delta Blues

Bukka White

Bukka White, born Booker T. Washington White, was a renowned American blues guitarist and singer-songwriter. Born on November 12, 1909, in Mississippi, White was known for his powerful and distinct voice, slide guitar skills, and songwriting abilities. With his unique blend of Delta blues and country influences, White left an indelible mark on the blues genre and continues to be celebrated as one of its most influential figures.


Name Bukka White
Birthdate Between November 12, 1900 and 1909
Death Date February 26, 1977
Nationality American
Occupation Delta Blues Guitarist and Singer

Early Life

Bukka White, born Booker T. Washington White in 1906, was raised in a musical family in Mississippi. He grew up in the small town of Houston, where he absorbed the rich musical traditions of the region. White’s father was a guitarist, and his older brother performed with legendary bluesman Charley Patton. This early exposure to music greatly influenced White’s own musical path. However, as a young man, he briefly moved to Memphis, Tennessee, seeking new opportunities and a chance to pursue his passion for music on a larger stage. The experience in Memphis proved vital to his development as a musician, as he encountered and learned from some of the leading blues artists of the time. This nomadic lifestyle, moving between Mississippi and Tennessee, would become a defining aspect of White’s early life and career.


Parents Siblings
John White Bessie White
Mary White Willie White

Bukka White’s parents were John White and Mary White. He had two siblings, Bessie White and Willie White. John and Mary were hardworking individuals who instilled a strong work ethic and love for music in their children. Bessie and Willie supported and encouraged Bukka’s musical aspirations, helping him develop his unique style and talent. The close-knit family environment played a significant role in shaping Bukka White’s musical career and contributed to his eventual success as a renowned blues musician.

Height, Weight, And Other Body Measurements

Add more attributes if available
Attribute Measurement
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight Not available

Wife/husband / Girlfriend/boyfriend

Bukka White’s Relationships

Bukka White had multiple relationships in his lifetime. Here is a summary of his relationships:

Type Name Details
Wife Espy Edna White Married in 1937

As for Bukka White’s current relationship status, he was married to Espy Edna White in 1937. Espy Edna White was his first and only wife with whom he shared a lifelong bond.

There is limited information available about any previous relationships of Bukka White.

Career, Achievements And Controversies

Career, Achievements and Controversies of Bukka White

Bukka White, born on November 12, 1906, in Houston, Mississippi, was an influential American blues guitarist and singer. He became renowned for his powerful voice and distinctive slide guitar playing style. Let’s dive into his career, achievements, and controversies.

Bukka White gained recognition through a series of recordings made during the 1930s, primarily for the Vocalion label. His song “Shake ‘Em on Down” became a hit and established him as a prominent blues artist. White’s raw and emotional performances resonated with audiences, helping him to achieve fame in the blues community.

Bukka White’s music is characterized by his unique slide guitar technique and gritty vocals. He recorded several influential songs, including “Parchman Farm Blues,” “Jitterbug Swing,” and “Fixin’ to Die Blues.” His songs often touched on themes of hardship, incarceration, and social injustice, reflecting the struggles of his time.

While formal awards may have eluded Bukka White during his lifetime, his contributions to the blues genre were recognized posthumously. In 1990, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, honoring his significant impact on the genre and his enduring musical legacy.

Like many artists, Bukka White faced some controversies throughout his career. One notable incident involved his arrest and subsequent imprisonment at the infamous Parchman Farm prison in Mississippi. While incarcerated, he continued to perform for fellow prisoners, showcasing his resilience and dedication to his craft.

Additionally, there have been discussions about the authenticity of some of White’s recordings, with claims of misattribution and disputes over songwriting credits. These controversies have sparked debates among blues enthusiasts and scholars.

Bukka White’s career in the blues music industry was marked by his captivating performances, influential songs, and enduring impact on the genre. Despite facing controversies and challenges, his talent and unique style helped him leave a lasting legacy in the field of blues music.


Bukka White FAQs

Bukka White, born Booker T. Washington White, was an influential American blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He was born on November 12, 1906, in Houston, Mississippi, and was known for his unique and dynamic style of Delta blues.

Bukka White is best known for his songs such as “Fixin’ to Die Blues,” “Parchman Farm Blues,” “Shake ‘Em on Down,” and “Aberdeen Mississippi Blues.” These songs have become classics in the blues genre and have influenced numerous musicians.

Yes, in addition to being a talented guitarist, Bukka White also played the piano. However, he primarily gained recognition for his guitar-playing skills and distinctive slide guitar technique.

Bukka White was influenced by various musicians, including his cousin, B.B. King, and renowned blues artists such as Charley Patton and Son House. These influences shaped his musical style and helped establish him as a significant figure in the blues scene.

Bukka White was a highly influential figure in the blues genre. His powerful vocals, intricate guitar work, and ability to blend traditional blues with his own unique style made a lasting impact on countless musicians. He left behind a notable catalog of recordings that continue to inspire blues artists to this day.

Bukka White’s music is widely available on various music streaming platforms, such as Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. You can also find his albums and tracks on online music stores and platforms that specialize in blues music.

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