And This is Maxwell Street


Big John Wrencher


John Wrencher
Big John Wrencher
One-armed John Wrencher

Born February 12, 1923 or 1924, Sunflower, Mississipi
Died July 15, 1977, Clarksdale, Mississippi

Self-taught harmonica player and singer

1958: Lost an arm in an automobile accident in Memphis

1962: Settled in Chicago and became a regular performer at the Maxwell Street market

"Big John's sound and style was like country juke joint blues brought to the city and amplified to the maximum. A flamboyant showman, he'd put on quite a show for the people in the street, moving and dancing constantly while the cigar box was passed around for tips. By all accounts, no one was ever disappointed by the show or the music."

All Music Guide To The Blues. p. 288.

John Wrencher is an under-recorded artist. "And This Is Maxwell Street" features some of his earliest known recordings, sitting in with Robert Nighthawk, Johnny Young, and Carey Bell in 1964.


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