Performing at his home in Baton Rouge in 1971.
Narration by Beat poet Ted Joans.
Robert Pete Williams (1914-1980) was a Louisiana blues musician. His music characteristically employs unconventional blues tunings and structures, and his songs are often about the time he served in prison.
He was discovered in Angola prison, by ethnomusicologists Dr Harry Oster and Richard Allen, where he was serving a life sentence for shooting a man dead in a local club in 1956, an act which he claimed was in self-defense. Oster and Allen recorded Williams performing several of his songs about life in prison and pleaded for him to be pardoned. Under pressure from Oster, the parole board issued a pardon and commuted his sentence to 12 years. In December 1958 he was released into 'servitude parole', which required 80 hours of labor per week on a Denham Springs farm without due compensation, and only room and board provided.
|Liveleak on Facebook|