An Interview with Scrapper Blackwell

Posted: November 10, 2011 in Scrapper Blackwell, Theodore F. Watts

Author : Theodore F. Watts

From : Jazz Monthly July 1960 pages 4-6

(link :


“Indianapolis, Indiana, is not very often mentioned by historians tracing the development of jazz. Those of us who live here tend to think of Richmond, Indiana, as the nearest jazz Mecca of the early days, because of the Gennett studios. But even from rudimentary research it begins to emerge that a large group of jazz and blues musicians were associated with Naptown. And new leads are being discovered every year. lndianapolis probably functioned as a stopping-off place—it is on the route to Chicago and Detroit. Probably the most exciting find of this past year was the discovery that Scrapper Blackwell, the blues guitarist associated with Leroy Carr, was still alive and living in Indianapolis. It was no less surprising when he told me that Indianapolis had always been his home. This experience underlines the great division that can exist between two cultures
existing in the same place.”



  1. Alan Balfour says:

    I first “deposited” this and other PDFs at Mike Garner’s NZ site in April 2004. They were all originally scanned from about 1990 onwards for folk writing or researching blues books or articles. Good to see they are still being put to good use. All the images are from my collection of records or magazines.

    I also requested that, for obvious reasons, the following caveat be added:

    They are mostly over 25 years old. While of great historical interest, may contain factual errors only revealed by later research. Be advised that more recent reference works should be consulted regarding factual points such as spelling of names, dates of birth, dates of recordings etc.

    Keep up the good work here.

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