Discover who's Playing on the Backporch at Rev. KM Williams' CountryBluesTown!
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Ramblin' Thomas (1902–1945) was an American country blues singer, guitarist and songwriter. He was the brother of another blues musician, Jesse Thomas. Thomas is best remembered for his slide guitar playing, and recording several pieces in the late 1920s and early 1930s.Blues scholars seem undecided if Thomas's nickname of Ramblin' was in reference to his style of playing, or itinerant nature.
Willard Thomas was born in Logansport, Louisiana, one of nine children. His father played the fiddle, and three brothers Joe L., Jesse, and Willard learnt to play the guitar, with Willard particularly practising slide guitar techniques. Thomas relocated to Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas in the late 1920s, and was influenced by the playing of Lonnie Johnson. He performed in San Antonio, Oklahoma and possibly St. Louis, Missouri in his subsequent travels. Thomas recorded in both Dallas and Chicago between 1928 and 1932, for Paramount Records and Victor Records.
Thomas reportedly died of tuberculosis in 1945 in Memphis, Tennessee. Document Records are amongst the record labels (previously there were LP issues on Heritage, Biograph, and Matchbox Records) to have released retrospective compilations of Thomas' work on CD.