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The Traditional Delta and Country Blues

Guitar Pete Franklin

b. Edward Lamonte Franklin, 16 January 1928, Indianapolis, IN, d. 31 July 1975, Indianapolis, IN, blues singer, guitarist, pianist and songwriter. His best known track was "Guitar Pete's Blues". Franklin variously worked with a number of fellow blues musicians including St. Louis Jimmy Oden, Jazz Gillum, John Brim, Sunnyland Slim, and Tampa Red. His mother wrote many songs for her lodger Leroy Carr, and Franklin’s interest in music developed early, beginning with piano, on which he was as adept as on guitar. His guitar playing was influenced by local musicians Scrapper Blackwell and Jesse Ellery (who recorded as accompanist to Jack "Champion" Dupree), but he could change his playing completely to fit with an amplified Chicago ensemble. As a pianist, Franklin was, not surprisingly, indebted to Leroy Carr, but on both instruments he was an original and remarkably accomplished musician, who was not recorded to the extent his talent merited.


Edward Lamonte Franklin was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. Despite being billed as Guitar Pete Franklin, he was equally adept on the piano. His guitar work was influenced by the work of Scrapper Blackwell, whilst on the piano his style was similar to his mother's one time lodger, Leroy Carr. A versatile and accomplished musician, Franklin was able to adapt to electric blues, and provided backing to many musicians. His first recording took place in 1947, when he accompanied St. Louis Jimmy Oden on guitar for the latter's single, "Coming Up Fast". Franklin's own work started in 1949 with his single release, "Casey Brown Blues". Franklin's other duties included making recordings with Jazz Gillum, John Brim, Sunnyland Slim, and Tampa Red. In 1963, Bluesville Records released The Blues of Pete Franklin: Guitar Pete's Blues, which was recorded on July 12, 1961, in Indianapolis. The album contained his most famous song, "Guitar Pete's Blues". Franklin died in Indianapolis, Indiana, in July 1975 from heart disease, aged 47.