African American singer and guitar player who got his start playing on the streets of Memphis around the turn of the century. His enormous repertoire of early folk, blues, old time country and popular music, along with his influence on local musicians has made many point to him as the true father of Memphis blues. He began touring the South with a black face Medicine Show comedian in the 1910s where it is said he met and influenced Jimmie Rodgers, among others. He then moved to Tennessee where he began playing with musician Dan Sane with whom he made his first recordings as the "Beale Street Sheiks" for Paramount in 1927.Throughout this period Stokes recorded a number of sides for Paramount and Victor until his old time style began to lose popularity with the record buying public.
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