Rare footage of a legendary bluesman

The great Leadbelly on film.

Published April 29, 2005 6:40PM (EDT)

iFilm.com has posted a real gem, rare footage -- in fact the only footage known to exist -- of the great blues singer Huddie Ledbetter, or Leadbelly, available for viewing here. These three songs were filmed in 1945, late in the singer's career, but still a few years before his health started failing. A special note to parents of young children: "Leadbelly Sings for Children" (which is not available for download as far as I know, although all the songs can be downloaded individually at Smithsonian Global Sound, and it can be purchased here), a record I grew up with, is one of the all-time great records for young children -- and not half bad for grown-ups either.

By Salon Staff

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