It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.

Please ensure you are using the latest Flash Player.


If you are unable or do not wish to upgrade your Flash Player,
please try a different browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora One subscription will expire shortly.
More Info
No Thanks
Your Pandora One trial will expire shortly.
Restore
Close
close
Your Pandora One trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
Upgrade Now
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora One.
More Info
No Thanks
Close
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
 Upgrade  sign up   |   help   |  
-0:00
0:00
Change Skin

Free personalized radio that
plays the music you love

Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station
People who also like this

Charley Patton

If the Delta country blues has a convenient source point, it would probably be Charley Patton, its first great star. His hoarse, impassioned singing style, fluid guitar playing, and unrelenting beat made him the original king of the Delta blues. Much more than your average itinerant musician, Patton was an acknowledged celebrity and a seminal influence on musicians throughout the Delta. Rather than bumming his way from town to town, Patton would be called up to play at plantation dances, juke joints, and the like. He'd pack them in like sardines everywhere he went, and the emotional sway he held over his audiences caused him to be tossed off of more than one plantation by the ownership, simply because workers would leave crops unattended to listen to him play any time he picked up a guitar. He epitomized the image of a '20s "sport" blues singer: rakish, raffish, easy to provoke, capable of downing massive quantities of food and liquor, a woman on each arm, with a flashy, expensive-looking guitar fitted with a strap and kept in a traveling case by his side, only to be opened up when there was money or good times involved. His records -- especially his first and biggest hit, "Pony Blues" -- could be heard on phonographs throughout the South. Although he was certainly not the first Delta bluesman to record, he quickly became one of the genre's most popular. By late-'20s Mississippi plantation standards, Charley Patton was a star, a genuine celebrity.

Although Patton was roughly five foot, five inches tall and only weighed a Spartan 135 pounds, his gravelly, high-energy singing style (even on ballads and gospel tunes it sounded this way) made him sound like a man twice his weight and half again his size. Sleepy John Estes claimed he was the loudest blues singer he ever heard and it was rumored that his voice was loud enough to carry outdoors at a dance up to 500 yards away without amplification. His vaudeville-style vocal asides -- which on record give the effect of two people talking to each other -- along with the sound of his whiskey- and cigarette-scarred voice would become major elements of the vocal style of one of his students, a young Howlin' Wolf. His guitar playing was no less impressive, fueled with a propulsive beat and a keen rhythmic sense that would later plant seeds in the boogie style of John Lee Hooker. Patton is generally regarded as one of the original architects of putting blues into a strong, syncopated rhythm, and his strident tone was achieved by tuning his guitar up a step and a half above standard pitch instead of using a capo. His compositional skills on the instrument are illustrated by his penchant for finding and utilizing several different themes as background accompaniment in a single song. His slide work -- either played in his lap like a Hawaiian guitar and fretted with a pocket knife, or in the more conventional manner with a brass pipe for a bottleneck -- was no less inspiring, finishing vocal phrases for him and influencing contemporaries like Son House and up-and-coming youngsters like Robert Johnson. He also popped his bass strings (a technique he developed some 40 years before funk bass players started doing the same thing), beat his guitar like a drum, and stomped his feet to reinforce certain beats or to create counter rhythms, all of which can be heard on various recordings. Rhythm and excitement were the bywords of his style.

The second, and equally important, part of Patton's legacy handed down to succeeding blues generations was his propensity for entertaining. One of the reasons for Charley Patton's enormous popularity in the South stems from his being a consummate barrelhouse entertainer. Most of the now-common guitar gymnastics modern audiences have come to associate with the likes of a Jimi Hendrix, in fact, originated with Patton. His ability to "entertain the peoples" and rock the house with a hell-raising ferociousness left an indelible impression on audiences and fellow bluesmen alike. His music embraced everything from blues, ballads, ragtime, to gospel. And so keen were Patton's abilities in setting mood and ambience, that he could bring a barrelhouse frolic to a complete stop by launching into an impromptu performance of nothing but religious-themed selections and still manage to hold his audience spellbound. Because he possessed the heart of a bluesman with the mindset of a vaudeville performer, hearing Patton for the first time can be a bit overwhelming; it's a lot to take in as the music, and performances can careen from emotionally intense to buffoonishly comic, sometimes within a single selection. It is all strongly rooted in '20s black dance music and even on the religious tunes in his repertoire, Patton fuels it all with a strong rhythmic pulse.

He first recorded in 1929 for the Paramount label and, within a year's time, he was not only the largest-selling blues artist but -- in a whirlwind of recording activity -- also the music's most prolific. Patton was also responsible for hooking up fellow players Willie Brown and Son House with their first chances to record. It is probably best to issue a blanket audio disclaimer of some kind when listening to Patton's total recorded legacy, some 60-odd tracks total, his final session done only a couple of months before his death in 1934. No one will never know what Patton's Paramount masters really sounded like. When the company went out of business, the metal masters were sold off as scrap, some of it used to line chicken coops. All that's left are the original 78s -- rumored to have been made out of inferior pressing material commonly used to make bowling balls -- and all of them are scratched and heavily played, making all attempts at sound retrieval by current noise-reduction processing a tall order indeed. That said, it is still music well worth seeking out and not just for its place in history. Patton's music gives us the first flowering of the Delta blues form, before it became homogenized with turnarounds and 12-bar restrictions, and few humans went at it so aggressively. ~ Cub Koda
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: This Is The Blues

Disc 1

1. Pony Blues

2. A Spoonful Blues

3. Devil Sent The Rain Blues

4. Frankie & Albert

5. Heart Like Railroad Steel

6. Down The Dirt Road Blues

7. Screamin' & Hollerin' The Blues

8. Pea Vine Blues

9. Shake It & Break It

10. Mississippi Boll Weevil Blues

11. Prayer Of Death Pt. 1

12. Prayer Of Death Pt. 2

13. Green River Blues

14. Hammer Blues

15. Magnolia Blues

16. Jim Lee Blues Pt. 1

17. Jim Lee Blues Pt. 2

18. Running Wild Blues

19. High Water Everywhere Pt. 1

20. High Water Everywhere Pt. 2

Disc 2

1. Mean Black Cat Blues

3. You're Gonna Need Somebody When You Die

4. Jesus Is A-Dying (Bed Maker)

5. When Your Way Gets Dark

6. Circle Round The Moon

7. Bird Nest Bound

8. Some Summer Day

9. Dry Well Blues

10. Moon Going Down

11. Revenue Man Blues

12. High Sheriff Blues

13. Stone Pony Blues

14. Jersey Bull Blues

15. Hang It On The Wall

16. Poor Me

17. 34 Blues

18. Love My Stuff

19. Troubled 'Bout My Mother

20. Oh Death!

x

Track List: Primeval Blues, Rags, And Gospel Songs

1. Revenue Man Blues

2. Hang It On The Wall

3. Prayer Of Death - Part 1

4. High Water Everywhere - Part 2

5. Stone Pony Blues

6. Prayer Of Death - Part 2

7. Mean Black Cat Blues

8. 34 Blues

9. You're Gonna Need Somebody When You Die

10. Elder Green Blues (Take 2)

11. Dry Well Blues

12. Some Happy Day

13. Love My Stuff

14. Tom Rushen Blues

15. Troubled Bout My Mother

16. Some Summer Day

17. Running Wild Blues

18. Jesus Is A Dying Bed Maker

19. Some Of These Days I'll Be Gone

20. Hammer Blues

21. Oh Death

22. Poor Me

23. Frankie And Albert

x

Track List: Founder Of The Delta Blues

1. Down The Dirt Road Blues

2. Mississippi Bo Weavil Blues

3. Screamin' And Hollerin' The Blues

4. Stone Pony Blues

5. It Won't Be Long

6. Shake It And Break It

7. Magnolia Blues

8. Dry Well Blues

9. High Water Everywhere Part I

10. High Water Everywhere Part II

11. Green River Blues

12. Bird Nest Bound

13. High Sheriff Blues

14. A Spoonful Blues

15. Moon Going Down

16. Pony Blues

17. Elder Green Blues

18. Banty Rooster Blues

19. Some Of These Days

20. Tom Rushen Blues

21. 34 Blues

22. Going To Move To Alabama

23. Hammer Blues

24. Poor Me

25. When Your Ways Get Dark

26. Devil Sent The Rain

x

Track List: Moon Going Down, Vol. 1

1. Moon Going Down

2. Dry Well Blues

3. Some Summer Day

4. Bird Nest Bound

5. Circle Round The Moon

6. When Your Way Gets Dark

8. You're Gonna Need Somebody When You Die

9. Some Of These Days I'll Be Gone

10. Mean Black Cat Blues

11. Revenue Man Blues

12. High Sheriff Blues

13. Stone Pony Blues

14. Jersey Bull Blues

15. Hang It On The Wall

16. Poor Me

17. 34 Blues

18. Love My Stuff

19. Troubled 'Bout My Mother

20. Oh Death

Comments

Report as inappropriate
That is extremely well written bio...so much Robert Johnson it's easy to forget the true founders thanks for enlightening us all
Report as inappropriate
Absolutely fantastic.
Report as inappropriate
we're pregnant
Report as inappropriate
Awesome voice
Report as inappropriate
Love him and am glad to have Pandora to enjoy the music. It certainly beats combing thru dusty record bins in the often vain hope of getting these treasures. Bio on him is good.
Report as inappropriate
This is guy is awesome....f e e l s like I am in a time machine.
Report as inappropriate
His voice was so rough and raw. It is a so-called "aquired taste" He is, after all, the father.
Report as inappropriate
I love him, but not as much as I love Robert Johnson!
Report as inappropriate
A lot of static is welcome. It's an old recording obviously and should remain in its purest form. Beautiful
Report as inappropriate
A lot of static, can't this be filtered?
Report as inappropriate
I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO HEAR HIM SING A GOSPEL SONG - THAT VOICE SINGING GOSPEL WOULD REALLY BE SOMETHING... . M A Y B E ONE WILL COME ON MY BRYAN DUNCAN STATTION
Report as inappropriate
ingnoring hat the angel says charlie patton laid the foundation for american blues artist who influnced countless muscians
Report as inappropriate
Slow, deliberate, thoughtful, definitely influential.
Charley Patton was one of our music's founding forefathers.
It would be great to know more about him.
Report as inappropriate
Angel of Anarchy, you're a putz.

Don't have a Pandora account? Sign up

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

It looks like your browser does not support modern SSL/TLS. Please upgrade your browser.

If you need help, please email: pandora-support@pandora.com.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[70, 70, 90, 108, 126, 114, 70, 70, 100, 88, 70, 123, 95, 70, 75, 64, 67, 101, 94, 92, 94, 115, 85, 123, 110, 78, 114, 90, 83, 100, 79, 125, 119, 65, 97, 121, 86, 75, 85, 127, 83, 119, 85, 121, 65, 90, 69, 84, 104, 70, 79, 69, 127, 88, 68, 112, 110, 122, 79, 120, 124, 74, 65, 124, 88, 121, 87, 100, 121, 117, 93, 89, 91, 119, 81, 95, 105, 67, 122, 89, 87, 116, 64, 105, 97, 94, 66, 64, 73, 106, 110, 110, 116, 72, 118, 85, 67, 126, 115, 79, 101, 124, 99, 79, 72, 99, 110, 119, 124, 87, 94, 73, 65, 96, 112, 104, 111, 78, 113, 103, 112, 87, 104, 117, 102, 123, 111, 84, 108, 81, 108, 86, 96, 66, 91, 118, 89, 98, 79, 88, 93, 113, 106, 109, 92, 68, 90, 100, 117, 85, 79, 121, 101, 76, 104, 87, 98, 83, 98, 105, 112, 93, 81, 73, 98, 117, 92, 90, 114, 99, 110, 85, 66, 122, 121, 126, 89, 92, 96, 70, 102, 85, 122, 127, 81, 125, 118, 103, 123, 95, 108, 64, 97, 126, 105, 126, 79, 75, 85, 92, 124, 104, 120, 72, 73, 73, 125, 76, 109, 119, 64, 109, 122, 82, 113, 104, 79, 125, 126, 119, 121, 65, 110, 67, 113, 100, 109, 104, 112, 99, 83, 66, 73, 110, 105, 115, 106, 108, 118, 89, 75, 65, 69, 117, 90, 91, 72, 115, 85, 112, 118, 99, 112, 98, 73, 83, 95, 78, 79, 79, 116, 66, 124, 67, 102, 115, 92, 71, 98, 80, 70, 126, 113, 106, 71, 109, 108, 83, 93, 109, 87, 103, 121, 93, 107, 77, 117, 102, 78, 95, 95, 82, 111, 109, 106, 64, 115, 105, 95, 117, 65, 90, 72, 127, 95, 127, 95, 94, 107, 113, 118, 104, 123, 114, 66, 73, 67, 79, 120, 87, 77, 67, 117, 123, 113, 87, 116, 125, 100, 121, 125, 103, 116, 81, 65, 110, 108, 91, 108, 70, 93, 95, 100, 68, 80, 88, 96, 98, 65, 118, 64, 100, 79, 125, 124, 105, 72, 126, 86, 72, 80, 113, 70, 74, 102, 67, 83, 64, 126, 87, 79, 106, 81, 88, 79, 116, 90, 77, 74, 106, 112, 94, 88, 94, 93, 121, 68, 75, 94, 73, 72, 95, 98, 77, 75, 122, 105, 118, 85, 102, 95, 76, 120, 80, 68, 92, 74, 84, 85, 74, 100, 94, 121, 87, 65, 124, 106, 71, 114, 106, 79, 96, 117, 126, 89, 100, 101, 127, 114, 83, 91, 99, 122, 79, 102, 81, 73, 98, 80, 121, 88, 101, 105, 64, 111, 86, 96, 111, 108, 96, 123, 76, 76, 70, 99, 121, 112, 113, 97, 112, 90, 101, 112, 95, 116, 69, 125, 100, 89, 111, 65, 83, 103, 69, 80, 96, 104, 75, 93, 76, 77, 86, 122, 97, 120, 99, 116, 116, 77, 69, 127, 99, 118, 74, 65, 120, 105, 114, 77, 106, 98, 90, 76, 73, 104, 94, 64, 120, 64, 118, 76, 127]