b. 19 June 1919, Arbana, Texas, USA. Like JB Lenoir, DC’s initials held no other significance. Raised on a farm in Polk County, Texas, Bender was taught to play the guitar by local musician Hardy Gibson. As a teenager, he pursued the itinerant musician’s life, working throughout East Texas and Louisiana. Later, in the 40s, he used Houston as his base, playing alongside his first cousin, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Smokey Hogg, Wright Holmes and Luther Stoneham. He recorded for Bill Quinn’s Gold Star label as DC Washington in 1948, and, five years later, accompanied Big Son Tillis on a session recorded in Los Angeles for J.R. Fullbright’s Elko label. He did not record again until he backed Mabel Franklin’s Ritzy single in 1964. By that time he had joined drummer Ivory Lee Semien’s band, with who he recorded a version of ‘Boogie Chillen’ in 1967. His party piece was to drink a bottle of beer while singing and playing guitar. It is not known whether this was a factor in his reported death in the 80s.
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