b. Ernest Lawlars, 18 May 1900, Hughes, Arkansas, USA, d. 14 November 1961, Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Lawlars is best known for his musical partnership with his wife, Memphis Minnie, but he had been playing guitar and singing blues for some years around Memphis before they collaborated, including a period with Rev. Robert Wilkins, whom he accompanied on record in 1935. He teamed up with Minnie in the late 30s, replacing her previous husband and partner, Joe McCoy. Like McCoy, Lawlars also made records under his own name, including the well-known ‘Black Rat Swing’, but he mainly appeared in the supporting role, on a large number of sides covering most of the 40s and the early years of the following decade. As their popularity in Chicago waned, they settled back in Memphis and retired from music in the 50s.
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