b. 2 June 1909, Jackson, Mississippi, USA, d. 27 February 2003, Gravel Springs, Mississippi, USA. A sharecropper most of his life, from 1970 Turner managed to buy some land of his own. A player of the fife, and of the bass and snare drums that accompany the fife, Turner kept up the practice of singing while working in the fields, which dates from slavery, and was uncommon by the time he was recorded. His guitar-accompanied blues singing was derived from his field hollers, and was both overwhelmingly intense and remarkably uninfluenced by commercial recordings. Turner’s daughter Bernice Turner Pratcher continued the tradition as a player of the drum, but sadly died of cancer only a day after her father in February 2003.
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