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Thomson in McDuffie County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Blind Willie McTell

Musician

 
 
Blind Willie McTell Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, July 17, 2005
1. Blind Willie McTell Marker
Inscription. Willie Samuel McTear (1901-1959) was born between Big and Little Briar Creeks in the Happy Valley community. In 1911, he and his mother moved to Statesboro, where he began his life of traveling and performing. Although blind from infancy, Willie developed a lifelong independence based on his acute sense of hearing, remarkable memory and versatile musical genius.

Willie performed and recorded under many names but favored "Blind Willie" McTell. Best remembered for his blues, McTell, had a remarkable repertoire of blues, spirituals, gospel, rags, folk ballads and popular music. McTell played from "Maine to Mobile Bay", and at theaters, taverns, road houses, churches, medicine shows, train stations, barbecue joints, house parties, and on the streets.

His blues feature his trademark twelve-string guitar played in rapid and intricate patterns of jagged, shifting rhythms accompanying his clear tenor voice. He started recording in 1927 for RCA Victor and went on to record for Columbia, Okeh, Vocalion, Decca, Bluebird, Atlantic and the Library of Congress. He last recorded in 1956 and returned to McDuffie County shortly before his death and is buried in the Jones Grove Cemetery. Blind Willie was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1990.
 
Erected 1993 by Georgia Department
Blind Willie McTell Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, January 19, 2009
2. Blind Willie McTell Marker
The marker in its new location in 2009, in front of the old Thomson Depot in Thomson.
of Natural Resources. (Marker Number 094-10.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Georgia Historical Society/Commission marker series.
 
Location. 33° 27.95′ N, 82° 30.117′ W. Marker is in Thomson, Georgia, in McDuffie County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (Georgia Route 17) and Railroad Street, on the right when traveling north on Main Street. Touch for map. In 2008 the marker was moved from its original location at Ga Highway 17 and Happy Valley Road south of Thomson, to a new location in front of the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau at the old Thomson Depot. Marker is in this post office area: Thomson GA 30824, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Women of the Sixty's Confederate Monument (here, next to this marker); Usry House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Woodman of the World Supreme Sacrifice Monument (approx. mile away); VFW Post 6672 KIA Monument (approx. 0.3 miles away); VFW Veterans Monument (approx. 0.3 miles away); McDuffie County (approx. 0.3 miles away); Thomas Edward Watson (approx. 0.3 miles away); Rear Admiral Richard Ellington Hawes (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Thomson.
 
Also see . . .
Blind Willie McTell Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, August 19, 2015
3. Blind Willie McTell Marker
1. Biography of Blind Willie McTell - Wikipedia. (Submitted on December 1, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
2. Blind Willie McTell (1898-1959). New Georgia Encyclopedia entry. (Submitted on September 10, 2015, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

3. Blind Willie McTell "Statesboro Blues". (Submitted on September 10, 2015, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
4. Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival. Annual music festival held in Thomson, Georgia. (Submitted on September 10, 2015, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansArts, Letters, Music
 
Blind Willie McTell Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, January 19, 2009
4. Blind Willie McTell Marker
The marker in its new location, in a small park on Main Street in Thomson in front of the old Thomson Depot.
Blind Willie McTell Marker and Park image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, August 19, 2015
5. Blind Willie McTell Marker and Park
Blind Willie McTell image. Click for full size.
By Georgia Music Hall of Fame
6. Blind Willie McTell
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 8, 2008, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. This page has been viewed 1,779 times since then and 64 times this year. Last updated on November 11, 2012, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. Photos:   1. submitted on September 8, 2008, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia.   2. submitted on January 31, 2009, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia.   3. submitted on September 10, 2015, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   4. submitted on January 31, 2009, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia.   5. submitted on September 10, 2015, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   6. submitted on November 11, 2012, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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