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Recipient Artists, Electric Blues
George Daniels was born April 27, 1929 in Macon County, Alabama. He can really sing the blues and is a deep blues guitar and harp player. George treasures and nurtures the old ways in which he was raised. He makes his own molasses and can distill a world class rye whiskey. George said, “I learned to play from my daddy. He gave me a guitar and I began to play when I was 7 years old. The first song I learned was “Rabbit on the Log.” I started blowing the harp for school marches. We had about 4 piece marching band playing the harp. We were just little kids. We marched and blew for school events and such.
I got into the blues when I was 21 years old. I got some of those records and I started playing behind them. My daddy was a farmer, I farmed a little while but I didn’t like it, the money was to slow working on the farm. I went into cutting and hauling pulp-wood, then I went into a mechanic shop. Back then they would have those old time frolics and we played every weekend. That is when it was a dime a set. They would pay the musicians a dime for every round of the cake-walk. I make rye whiskey, you have got to put it up and let it sit. Rye makes the best whiskey if you are going to make something. I played in the juke joints, it was alright, I still play in the jukes today. I’m an old man now and music is all about that I can do.”
Source: Music Maker Foundation
Died October 2014
When we learned that George Daniels had passed away last month, I thought back to my first meeting with him. I went to look for George Daniels in 1995 as I was re-tracing the trail of the great folklorist and blues researcher George Mitchell, who had discovered many great blues artists in Georgia and Alabama. George Daniels became a long-time friend of Music Maker; we helped him every month for medicine for nearly 20 years. As I only got to visit him a few times, I never spent the amount of time with him as his friend, the great folklorist/writer Fred Fussell, did. Fred wrote this piece and I present it here as it really gives you an idea of the wonderful man George Daniels was. He is sorely missed here at Music Maker.
- Tim Duffy