"Mississippi" John Smith Hurt (March 8, 1892 , Teoc, Carroll County, Mississippi - November 2, 1966, Grenada, Mississippi) was an influential blues singer and guitarist.
Raised in Avalon, Mississippi, he learned to play guitar at age 9. He spent much of his youth playing old time music for friends and dances, earning a living as a farm hand into the 1920s. In 1923 he often partnered with the fiddle player Willie Narmour (Carroll County Blues) as a substitute for his regular partner Shell Smith. When Narmour got a chance to record for OKeh Records in reward for winning first place in a 1928 fiddle contest, Narmour recommended John Hurt to OKeh Records producer Tommy Rockwell. After auditioning "Monday Morning Blues" at his home, he took part in two recording sessions, in Memphis and New York City (See Discography below). The "Mississippi" tag was added by OKeh as a sales gimmick. After the commercial failure of the resulting disc and OKeh records going out of business during the depression, Hurt returned to Avalon and obscurity working as a sharecropper and playing local parties and dances.