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Today we are going to go back in time and talk about “The Blues”. If you are in Indianapolis you can’t talk about the blues without talking about “Scrapper Blackwell”. Scrapper’s given name was Francis Hillman Blackwell. He was born in Syracuse, North Carolina on February 21, 1903. He is 1 of 16 children and is part Cherokee.

Although born in North Carolina he grew up and spent most of his life in Indianapolis. He is a self taught guitarist that made his very first guitar out of wood, wire and cigar boxes. Scrapper also played piano and made solo recordings.

Musically Scrapper’s most famous work is a song called “Kokomo Blues” which is most commonly known today as the very popular “Sweet Home Chicago” recorded by Robert Johnson. Ironically Scrapper did travel to Chicago as well as St. Louis and Richmond, Indiana in his career.

Scrapper retired sometime in the late 1930’s after friend and group member Leroy Car Passed away. He recorded a dedication song titled “My Old Pal Blues”. Scrapper’s demise would come in 1962. He was preparing a comeback to the music industry and was shot and killed in an alley in Indianapolis at the age of 59. His murder is still unsolved.

Although, I have no awards or superstar collaborations to speak on it doesn’t mean that Scrapper Blackwell and many others across the world are not just as important. Music is kept alive by the creators as well as the consumers. Check out this song from Leroy and Scrapper titled “Papas Got Your Water On”