Mississippi Fred McDowell

Chris Strachwitz on Fred McDowell - The Arhoolie FoundationMcDowell was born in Rossville, Tennessee, United States. His parents were farmers, who both died while Fred was in his youth. He took up the guitar at the age of 14 and was soon playing for tips at dances around Rossville. Seeking a change from plowing fields, he moved to Memphis in 1926, where he worked in the Buck-Eye feed mill, which processed cotton into oil and other products. In 1928, he moved to Mississippi to pick cotton. He finally settled in Como, Mississippi, in 1940 or 1941 (or maybe the late 1930s), where he worked as a full-time farmer for many years while continuing to play music on weekends at dances and picnics. See for more.

When I Lay My Burden Down

Baby Please Don’t Go

Shake ‘Em On Down

You gotta move

Goin Down to the River

John Henry


The First Recordings Full album

Come and Found You Gone Full album

You Gotta Move 1989 Full Album

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