Ishman Bracey

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Ishman Bracey (January 9, 1901 - February 12, 1970), was a blues singer and guitarist from Mississippi.

Life[change | change source]

Early Life[change | change source]

Bracey was born in Byram, Mississippi. He started playing at local dances and parties in about 1917. He also worked as a waterboy on the Illinois Central Railroad. His first recorded song was in Memphis in 1928. He played as lead guitar with Charlie McCoy on rhythm guitar.

Songs performed[change | change source]

In the 1920s, Bracey had not yet started playing delta blues and each of his songs were different. However, he was one of the only Mississippi blues musicians to sing with a nasal voice. He often sang about skin creams and powders which would lighten dark skin.

Later life[change | change source]

When he recorded in 1930, his voice had become deeper. This meant that he could not sing high enough for some of his songs and the songs had to be changed. He recorded after in 1931 for Paramount Records with a group called The New Orleans Nehi Boys, which had a guitarist called Charles Taylor.

Songs[change | change source]

Bracey has recorded 16 songs in all, the original copies of his 78-rpm records are some of the most valuable things in blues collecting history. "Trouble Hearted Blues" and "Left Alone Blues" are his best known songs.