October 5, 2011

A Diddley Bow on Lonnie Pitchford's Gravestone

Lonnie Pitchford (October 8, 1955 – November 8, 1998) was an American blues musician and instrument maker from Lexington, Mississippi. He was notable in that he was one of only a handful of young African American musicians from Mississippi who had learned and was continuing the Delta blues and country blues traditions of the older generations.

In addition to the acoustic and electric guitar, Pitchford was also skilled at the one-string guitar and diddley bow, a one-string instrument of African origin.

If you look closely at the picture you will see a Diddley Bow permantly mounted to the right-hand side of his gravestone.

In this wonderful documentary by Alan Lomax called 'The Land Where The Blues Began' you can see and hear Lonnie Pitchford demonstrating his amazing technique on the Diddley Bow beginning at 3:58.

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