Banjo supremo Gus lived near Clarksdale, a hot-bed of country Blues, and he is said to have made his own banjo from an old frying pan and a raccoon skin. He often held his banjo across his knees, using a knife on the strings like those early Bluesmen as he played on the streets of Memphis with guitarist Ashley Thompson and harp player Noah Lewis. In 1927, he cut six tracks with Blind Blake in Chicago, when he was billed as ‘Banjo Joe’. The following year he picked up on the Jug Band craze back in Memphis, forming the Jug Stompers with Lewis, Thompson and Hosea Woods on vocals and kazoo. When the craze faded in the early 30s, Gus was reduced to playing for tips in the park opposite Beale Street, but he was ‘re-discovered’ in the 60s, often sharing the Festival stage with fellow Memphis Bluesman Furry Lewis. He recorded with Noah Lewis (no relation) for the Stax label, and also with Bukka White, but perhaps Gus is most famous for writing ‘Walk Right In’, a song which was taken to the top of the US pop charts by The Rooftop Singers in 1963, and is known around the world.
The original version of this worldwide 60s hit;
[weaver_youtube http://youtu.be/_4mGH_3lzhw id=videoid sd=0 percent=100 ratio=0.5625 center=1 rel=1 https=0 privacy=0]