Famous Arkansan: Robert Lockwood Jr.

Several well-known
people have roots in Arkansas. The list runs the gamut from Johnny Cash to
Jermain Taylor. Check here every Monday as we highlight a new Famous Arkansan
each week. Today,
Robert Lockwood Jr.
Zoie Clift
Born in 1915 in Turkey
Scratch, Robert Lockwood Jr. first learned music on the family pump organ, then
was taught the guitar at age 11 by Robert Johnson, the mysterious delta
bluesman. By age 17, Lockwood was performing professionally with the likes of
Johnson, Johnny Shines and Rice Miller, who became an institution himself as
Sonny Boy Williamson.
In 1941, Lockwood and Williamson joined forces in Helena to host the now legendary King Biscuit Hour on KFFA radio. During his
lifetime, he received numerous accolades including the very first W.C. Handy
Award. He is also a member of the Blues Hall of Fame and the Delta Blues Hall
of Fame. The album, Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen: Live In
Dallas, recorded by Lockwood, Henry James Townsend, Joe Willie
“Pinetop” Perkins, and David Honeyboy Edwards, received the 2004
Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album.
Lockwood continued to perform on a regular
basis at the Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival (formerly the King Biscuit
Blues Festival) in Helena-West Helena until his death in 2006. 

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