Blind Lemon Jefferson: ‘See That My Grave Is Kept Clean’

July 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Music

The blues persists. Won`t let up. Best way to cure it is to listen to the greats. Blind Lemon Jefferson was actually successful as a recording artist for the Paramount label. This was unheard of in Blues. Record keeping wasn`t too good back then, but it`s claimed that the sales of some of his records ranged in six figures. A few of Blind Lemon`s (1893-1929) best known songs are: “Matchbox Blues,” “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean,” and “That Black Snake Moan,” a fully loaded Freudian slip of sorts. One time Lemon Jefferson was even paid with a brand new Ford car as his royalty payment by his label Paramount.blind-lemon-jefferson

Furthermore, his death is shrouded in mystery, as are the changes that his grave site would undergo in the eighty years since his death. He death came in Chicago (1929); some say he was poisoned by a jealous lover, but most likely he died of a heart attack, when he became lost and topsy-turvy in a furious snowstorm. It`s also been suggested that he may have been robbed of a sizeable royalty that had just arrived, then coldly murdered. Paramount paid to return his body by train to Texas, that included a working piano player, Will Ezell. He was buried at Wortham Black Cemetery in an unmarked grave. It was finally marked in 1967, but the exact location had been lost. A handsome headstone was erected in 1997 and in 2007 the cemetery`s name was changed to Blind Lemon Memorial Cemetery (Wiki). Now my blues will finally fly away!