Reference Entry

Jacobs, Little Walter

Steven C. Tracy

in American National Biography Online

Published in print January 1999 |
Published online February 2000 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697 | DOI:

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Jacobs, Little Walter (01 May 1930–15 February 1968), blues singer and instrumentalist, was born Marion Walter Jacobs in Marksville, Louisiana, the son of Adam Jacobs and Beatrice Leviege, sharecroppers. Soon after Walter’s birth, the family moved to Alexandria, where he grew up, and at age eight he began playing the harmonica, absorbing the sounds of white harmonica-player Lonnie Glosson and Cajun music. At age eleven or twelve he ran away from home, his destination New Orleans, where he played on the streets and perhaps in some clubs in 1942 and at the Liberty Inn Club in Monroe in 1943. By 1944 he was in Helena, Arkansas, learning a few pointers from Rice Miller and appearing in radio on “King Biscuit Time” and “Mother’s Best Flour Hour” in 1945–1946. Jacobs married Pearl Lee around 1945; they moved to East St. Louis and St. Louis before arriving in Chicago by 1946....

Reference Entry.  1448 words. 

Subjects: Woodwinds ; Applied Music ; Blues ; Jazz

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