Alabama songster and harmonica player Horace Sprott was born February 2, 1890, the son of former slave Bessie Ford, and his surname was taken from the Sprott Plantation where he was born. He took up guitar and harmonica and was soon playing a mix of blues, work songs, spirituals, and old slave songs at local functions and parties in the area. Sprott reportedly got himself into some trouble, however, and ended up spending a stretch at a prison work farm in Montgomery. Folkways researcher Frederic Ramsey encountered Sprott in Marion, AL, in 1954, and impressed with the musician's varied repertoire, which included several a cappella set pieces, recorded him in seven sessions held in April and May of that year. These field recordings were edited down to form an LP, which was released in 1954 by Folkways Records. The album caused a brief stir in the folk world, and Sprott even ended up making an appearance on television for CBS in 1956, but a substantive career as a performer never really took shape, and Sprott drifted away into the haze of blues history, reportedly passing away in the early '90s.
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