C.C. Rider Venerates: Blind Boy Fuller

When he lost his eyesight, Fulton Allen was 21. He couldn’t do the jobs he’d done before. He had to find a way to make some change. So he picked up his old guitar, and studied the recordings of the best. Soon he could run the gamut of styles on his National Resonator, from ragtime and ballads to blues and hokum.

Blind Boy Fuller became wildly popular, and one of the best selling blues artists of his time. He cut over a hundred twenty sides during his short career. And despite a stint in jail for attempted murder, he remained a prolific recording artist until his death at age 32.

He only recorded for six years, but Blind Boy Fuller made a deep impression on blues and rock and roll. Songs like “What’s that Smells like Fish” and “Step it Up and Go” are now standards. The Stones named an album after his “Get Your Ya Ya’s Out.” And the common phrase “Keep on Truckin’” comes from his song “Truckin’ my Blues Away.”

Laying out the dirty roots of Dylan’s “Baby Let Me Follow You Down,” here’s Blind Boy Fuller’s “Mama Let Me Lay It On You.”

The Veneration of Blind Boy Fuller
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