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Mance Lipscomb

"Mance Lipscomb" (April 9, 1895 – January 30, 1976) was an influential blues singer and guitarist. Born Beau De Glen Lipscomb in Navasota, Texas, Beau took the name Mance short for emancipation. Lipscomb was the son of an Alabama slave.

Lipscomb spent most of his life working as a tenant farmer in Texas and was "discovered" and recorded in 1960 during the revival of country blues. He released six albums of blues and folk music, singing and accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. He had a fine finger-picking guitar technique, and an expressive voice well suited to his material.

Lipscomb's song "Baby, Let Me Lay It On You" was picked up and reworked into "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down" by urban folksingers Ric Von Schmidt and Bob Dylan after a New York performance. One of his best songs, "Sugar Babe", was the first song he learned on guitar. Lipscomb performed and recorded a brilliant country blues version of "Shine On, Harvest Moon".

Unlike many of his contemporaries like Blind Blake and Blind Willie McTell his life is well documented and he appeared in several films including the 1971 documentary ''A Well Spent Life''.

Despite his fame in the 1960s and ear...

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