Before Finding a Place in the History Books, Renowned Blues and Folk Musician Lead Belly Made a Stop in Raleigh

Huddie Ledbetter, aka Lead Belly, stopped at Raleigh’s Central Prison with folklorists John A. Lomax and Alan Lomax in December 1934.

Before Johnny Cash recorded “Rock Island Line,” before Pete Seeger sang about studying war no more, and before Nirvana did a harrowing version of “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” on MTV Unplugged, there was Lead Belly. Mentored by the titanic bluesman Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lead Belly was a singer, guitarist, and storyteller, one whose work helped define these artists and American vernacular music in the twentieth century.… …read more