FRANK HUTCHISON BIOGRAPHY
Frank Hutchison (March 20, 1891 – November 9, 1945) was an American early country, blues and Piedmont blues musician and songwriter. Hutchison was best known as a slide guitar player, where he held the guitar in his lap.
Born in Logan County, West Virginia, United States, Hutchison is considered to be the first white rural guitarist to record the blues, as he cut several tracks for Okeh Records. He worked as a coal miner at various coal mines in Logan County, West Virginia, both before and after his career as a recording artist. Between 1926 and 1929, Hutchison recorded forty-one sides for Okeh, of which nine were unissued. Three of the issued sides and three of the unissued were recorded with Sherman Lawson, a Logan County fiddler; others featured Hutchison’s guitar, harmonica and voice. Hutchison also performed in the “Okeh Medicine Show,” released by Okeh in 1929. Hutchison is considered to be one of the finest performers of the “white country blues” genre of early folk music. One of his more famous recordings is “The Train That Carried My Girl From Town.” His recording of “Stackalee” was included in Harry Smith’s 1952 Anthology of American Folk Music, and influenced a number of musicians during the 1950s and 1960s folk revival. Some years after his recording career had ended and after he left the Logan County coal mines, Hutchison and his wife operated a store in Lake, West Virginia, where he also served as postmaster. His family lived above the store. The store burned down, Hutchison lost everything and reportedly developed alcohol problems after that. He worked as a riverboat entertainer on the Ohio River and eventually moved to Columbus, Ohio. He died in 1945 at a Dayton, Ohio hospital, of liver disease, aged 54.