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One String Sam

Not much is known about One String Sam, an eccentric street musician who walked into Joe's Record Shop on Hastings Street in Detroit in 1956 and recorded two odd and unforgettable tracks, "I Need a Hundred Dollars" and "My Baby Ooo," on a fretless, one- string instrument that was essentially a diddley bow, consisting of a wood plank with a piano wire stretched between two nails, augmented with an electric guitar pickup. Sam, whose real name was Sam Wilson, fretted the instrument with a baby food jar and, placing the jar near the vocal microphone when he sang, created his own echo chamber. The result was an eerie, spooky, and riveting version of country blues. Sam played on the streets in Detroit for a few years, but eventually vanished. He was relocated in nearby Inkster in 1973 and added to the roster of the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival that year, where he performed "I Need a Hundred Dollars" and "I Got to Go" before vanishing once again into blues history. His entire recorded output consists of the two sides recorded in 1956, plus the two tracks recorded at the 1973 festival in Ann Arbor. The Hastings Street tracks (which were originally released on JVB Records) can be found on Document's Rural Blues, Vol. 1, while the festival tracks are on Motor City Blues, released in 1998 by Total Energy Records. ~ Steve Leggett
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Bankers Blues: A Study In The Effects Of Fiscal Mischief

4. No Money

5. Million Dollar Blues

6. Sales Tax

8. A Sermon On A Silver Dollar

9. Save That Money

10. Income Tax Blues

11. The Banker's Blues

12. No Bonus Blues

13. The Pawn Shop Blues

14. Insurance Policy Blues

15. Stack O' Dollars Blues

16. Times Is Tight Like That

17. Poor Millionaire Blues

18. I Need A Hundred Dollars

19. All My Money Is Gone

20. Trying To Make A Living

21. Broke And Hungry

22. Money Kills Love

23. Ain't No Prison For The Corporation

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