Frank Hutchison

Frank Hutchison

1897-1945, Logan County

Frank Hutchison was a blues musician and coal miner who is considered to be one of the first Caucasians to record blues. He worked as a coal miner in Logan County both before and after his career as a recording artist. Hutchison participated in medicine shows in the 1920s and recorded only from 1926-1929 during which he recorded more than 30 songs, many released on the Okeh label.

His song, “The Train That Carried My Girl From Town,” became a staple for Doc Watson, who was heavily influenced by Hutchison. Hutchison’s playing also influenced Leo Kottke and Bob Dylan. His song “Coney Isle” was later popularized by the New Lost City Ramblers.

Examples of his mastery of the Piedmont finger-picking blues style include “The Chevrolet Six” and “KC Blues” (both recorded at his final session in 1929 in New York City). Later that year, Hutchison recorded in Atlanta with Emmett Miller, Fiddlin’ John Carson, Namour & Smith, Moonshine Kate, Bud Blue, the Black Brothers, and Martin Molloy. The three-disc album of music and comedy was titled The Medicine Show. Hutchison is considered one of the finest performers of the “white country blues” genre of early folk music.