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Mark Steven Maulucci

singer, guitarist, and songwriter, was born in Greenwood, Mississippi. His mother died when he was five years old, and he moved to the L. C. Haves plantation in Hollindale, in southern Mississippi, to be reared by his grandmother. He never knew his father. Jones was interested in music and sang in the church choir. He made his living working in the cotton fields and visited the local juke joints to sing and dance with the bands passing through. His accomplished dancing skills would serve him well as he developed his stage act. Jones began working with fellow Greenwood native Willie Warren's band and started playing guitar at Warren's encouragement. He was deeply moved by the slide guitar playing of Robert Nighthawk. Jones met his first wife, Virginia Dumas when he was eighteen years old but the marriage was short lived as he spent time in ...

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violinist and guitarist, was born Claude Gaberial Williams in Muskogee, Oklahoma, the son of Lee J. Williams, a blacksmith, and Laura Williams, a homemaker. The youngest of six children, Williams learned to play piano, guitar, and four-string mandolin from his brother-in-law Ben Johnson. He taught himself the violin in his youth after hearing Joe Venuti play. After becoming proficient on violin, Williams joined his brother-in-law's string band. The band traveled by train on a circuit between Muskogee, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City. The band performed ragtime, popular standards, and blues for tips in barbershops, hotels, and on the street.

In 1927 Williams joined T. Holder's Dark Clouds of Joy at the Louvre Ballroom in Tulsa The band alternated between Tulsa and Oklahoma City playing jitney dances so called because the management would give away a car commonly referred to as a jitney as a door prize ...

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John Saillant

singer, guitarist, and songwriter, was born William H. Withers Jr. in Slab Fork, West Virginia, the youngest of six children of William H. Withers Sr., a coal miner, and Mattie Galloway. After his father's death in 1951, Withers was reared by his mother and his grandmother. His mother worked as a maid. Withers served in the U.S. Navy from 1956 to 1965. While he was on duty in the Far East, he made his first attempts at songwriting.

After his discharge from the navy, Withers moved to Los Angeles in 1967 and began pursuing a musical career. While promoting his compositions, he worked at a factory. Clarence Avant of Sussex Records gave Withers his first break. The result was the classic album Just as I Am (1970 which included the hits Ain t No Sunshine and Grandma s Hands Ain t ...