Bibliography, Born for Hard Luck

Negro Folk Expression: Spirituals, Seculars, Ballads and Work Songs


CDs in print

  • "32 Blues: Peg Leg Sam: Kickin' It!," ed. Pete Lowry. Re-issue of older LPs. Available at
    Read the review of the CD.
  • Early in the Morning, Peg Leg Sam, 1994. Out of print, but the CD is available through iTunes.

Good For What Ails You: Music of the Medicine Shows, 1926-1937, 48 classic performances by Pink Anderson, Daddy Stovepipe, Gid Tanner, Blind Sammie, Bogus Ben Covington, Fiddlin' John Carson, Banjo Joe, Shorty Godwin, Beans Hambone, Emmett Miller & His Georgia Crackers, the Three Tobacco Tags. The CD comes with an illustrated History of the Medicine Shows, many rare photographs and firsthand accounts never before published, plus full discography and song descriptions. w and b. October 2005 Release. (Old Hat CD-1005)

Old LP Recordings (also see

  • Flyright 505: "Carolina Country Blues," ed. Bruce Bastin, 1973
  • Flyright 507-508: "The Last Medicine Show," ed ed. Bruce Bastin, 1973 (excerpted from the live performance recorded in 1972, with transcription and extensive notes.)
  • Trix 3302: "Peg Leg Sam: Medicine Show Man," ed. Pete Lowry, 1973
  • Trix 3304: "Henry Johson: The Union County Flash," ed. Pete Lowry, 1973
  • Blue Labor BL-105: "Peg Leg Sam: Goiing Train Blues," ed Kent Cooper, 1975

Field tapes and original film from Born For Hard Luck are in the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Contact Tom Davenport to use this material.


  • Bastin, Bruce. Crying for the Carolines (London, 1971), esp. "Spartanburg".
  • Bruce Bastin, Red River Blues: The Blues Tradition in the Southeast (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986), esp. Ch. 11.
  • Botkin, B. A. Lay My Burden Down (Chicago, 1945).
  • Dorson, R. M. American Negro Folktales (Greenwich, CN., 1967)
  • Kochman, Thomas, ed. Rappin' and Stylin' Out: Communication in Urban Black America (Urbana, 1972).
  • Rosenberg, Bruce A. The Art of the American Folk Preacher (New York, 1970).
  • Toll, Robert C. Blacking Up: The Minstrel Show in Nineteenth Century America (New York, 1974).
  • White, Newman I. et al., eds. The Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore, Vol. III (Durham, NC., 1952).
  • Work, John W. American Negro Songs and Spriituals (New York, 1940).


  • Lornell, Kip. "Peg Pete & His Pals," Living Blues, No. 11 (Winter 1972-73), 27-29.
  • Tullos, Allen E. "Born for Hard Luck," Southern Exposure, 3 (Winter 1976), 40-45. (Introduction, with life story transcribed from interviews.)