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Jesse Fuller

Equipped with a band full of instruments operated by various parts of his anatomy, Bay Area legend Jesse Fuller was a folk music favorite in the '50s and '60s. His infectious rhythm and gentle charm graced old folk tunes, spirituals, and blues alike. One of his inventions was a homemade foot-operated instrument called the "footdella" or "fotdella." Naturally, Fuller never needed other accompanists to back his one-man show. His best-known songs include "San Francisco Bay Blues" and "Beat It on Down the Line" (the first one covered by Janis Joplin, the second by the Grateful Dead).

Born and raised in Georgia, Jesse Fuller began playing guitar when he was a child, although he didn't pursue the instrument seriously. In his early twenties, Fuller wandered around the southern and western regions of the United States, eventually settling down in Los Angeles. While he was in Southern California he worked as a film extra, appearing in The Thief of Bagdad, East of Suez, Hearts in Dixie, and End of the World. After spending a few years in Los Angeles, Fuller moved to San Francisco. While he worked various odd jobs around the Bay Area, he played on street corners and parties.

Fuller's musical career didn't properly begin until the early '50s, when he decided to become a professional musician -- he was 55 years old at the time. Performing as a one-man band, he began to get spots on local television shows and nightclubs. However, Fuller's career didn't take off until 1954, when he wrote "San Francisco Bay Blues." The song helped him land a record contract with the independent Cavalier label, and in 1955 he recorded his first album, Folk Blues: Working on the Railroad with Jesse Fuller. The album was a success and soon he was making records for a variety of labels, including Good Time Jazz and Prestige.

In the late '50s and early '60s Jesse Fuller became one of the key figures of the blues revival, helping bring the music to a new, younger audience. Throughout the '60s and '70s he toured America and Europe, appearing at numerous blues and folk festivals, as well as countless coffeehouse gigs across the U.S. Fuller continued performing and recording until his death in 1976. ~ Jim O'Neal
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Arhoolie 40th Anniversary Collection 1960 - 2000

Disc 1

1. San Francisco Bay Blues

2. Mercury Blues

3. Shake Shake Mama

4. Cairo Blues

6. One Thin Dime

7. Charmin' Betsy

9. I Am The Black Ace

10. Brother James

15. Bald Headed Woman

19. The Country Blues

20. Crowley Waltz

22. Ay, Ai Ai

23. Write Me A Few Lines

24. Charlie James

25. Louisiana Blues

Disc 2

1. Cindy

2. Little Red Rooster

6. I Wonder Where You Are Tonight

9. Sometimes I Cry

10. Two Bugs And A Roach

11. Dream

12. Things Gonna Get Better

13. Visions

17. Please Settle In Vietnam

18. Shake 'em On Down

21. Finger Lickin' Good

Disc 3

1. Church Point Breakdown

3. Gibson Creek Shuffle

5. You Ain't Got A Chance

7. Satan's Burning Hell

8. Luzita

12. Allons A Grand Coteau

15. Fast Santa Fe (Bear Cat)

16. I'll See You In C-U-B-A

17. El Balaju

21. Ay Te Dejo En San Antonio

22. Mi Problema

Disc 4

1. Gritenme Piedras Del Campo

2. Co-Fe

3. Single Girl

4. Bee De La Manche

6. Negra Ausencia

12. Here To Stay

13. I Know That's Right

19. Hot Chili Mama

21. El Canoero

23. San Francisco Can Be Such A Lonely Town

Disc 5

5. Food Stamp Blues

6. Ain't It A Shame

8. La Mal Sentada

9. Falling For You

14. El Corrido De Esequiel Hernandez

15. What's His Name-Jesus

16. Just A Closer Walk With Thee

x

Track List: Fantastic Folk

1. The Patriot Game

2. The Factory Girl

3. Slieve Gallon Brae

4. Riding Down To Portsmouth

5. The Bold Princess Royal

6. Spencer The Rover

7. Creeping Jane

8. Country Gardens

9. San Francisco Bay Blues

10. Angi

11. The Fireman's Not For Me

12. Maccrimmon's Lament

13. The Two Corbies

15. Go Down Ye Murderers

16. The Man That Waters The Workers' Beer

17. Talking Union Blues

18. Joe Hill

19. The Red Flag

x

Track List: Friends Of Old Time Music

1. Double File

2. Hicks' Farewell

3. Soldier's Joy

4. Claude Allen

5. Monday Morning Blues

6. Pallet On The Floor

7. Chick-A-La-Lee-O

8. Come All Ye Tender Hearted

9. Little Birdie

10. Rabbit In The Log

11. Dark Holler Blues

12. What Did I Do To Be So Black And Blue?

13. Mistreated Mama Blues

14. Hook And Line

15. Pretty Fair Miss All In A Garden

16. He's Coming In Glory Some Day

x

Track List: Friends Of Old Time Music: The Folk Arrival 1961 - 1965

Disc 1

1. I'm Troubled

2. The Country Blues

3. Going Down To The River

4. East Virginia Blues

5. The Storms Are On The Ocean

6. The Dream Of The Miner's Child

7. Soldier's Joy

8. Coffee Blues

9. Live And Let Live

10. Lonely Tombs

11. Rockin' Boogie

12. Brown's Dream

13. Down South Blues

14. Knoxville Blues

15. Have A Feast Here Tonight

16. Riley

17. Buck And Wing

Disc 2

1. Hell Among The Yearlings

2. Amelia Earhart's Last Flight

3. The Brakeman's Blues

4. Foggy Mountain Top

5. Hicks' Farewell

6. Jordan Is A Hard Road To Travel

7. Write Me A Few Of Your Lines

8. Bimini Gal

9. Shady Grove

10. Grey Eagle

11. Walkin' The Dog

12. San Francisco Bay Blues

13. Short Life Of Trouble

14. John Henry

15. Kneelin' Down Inside The Gate

16. Tell Me Why You Like Roosevelt

17. Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow

18. Mansions For Me

19. Before This Time Another Year

Disc 3

1. My Creole Belle

2. "Guitar Lesson"

3. Cincinnati Blues

4. Poor Boy In Jail

5. He's Solid Gone

6. Maggie Walker Blues

7. Chevrolet

8. Rising Sun Blues

9. Lord, Build Me A Cabin In Glory

10. Frankie And Albert

11. Hard Times

12. The Miller's Will

13. The Coo Coo Bird

14. Double File

15. The Wandering Boy

16. Stranger Blues

17. I Saw The Light

18. Sugar Hill

19. Amazing Grace

x

Track List: Hear Me Howling!: Blues, Ballads, & Beyond

Comments

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Dylan connection! (Note to self)
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wrightvanceo n e
Love You UNCLE, from cousin Elane, nephew Vance. C. Wright

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