In the 1930’s, Durham’s economy was booming, thanks to the success of the tobacco industry. After long days at work, it was common for tobacco factory laborers to kick back to the sounds of Piedmont blues artists, who traveled to the area to express themselves in a unique musical style…and make some good money. The most popular was Fulton "Blind Boy Fuller" Allen, a young guitarist whose ragtime tunes and skillful finger-picking attracted huge crowds.
Blind Boy Fuller’s influence is reflected in the sounds of countless musicians, including the Grateful Dead and the Rolling Stones. Host Frank Stasio explores the artist’s life and legacy and the explosion of the Piedmont blues with Glenn Hinson, chair of UNC-CH’s Folklore Curriculum; Joe Newberry, public information officer for the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources; Tim Duffy, founder of the Music Maker Relief Foundation; and blues guitarist Boo Hanks.