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Napoleon Strickland (October 1, 1919[1] – July 21, 2001) was a fife and drum blues artist, and songwriter, and vocalist specializing in country blues, sometimes known as Napolian Strickland. He also played guitar, drums, harmonica, fife, and all manner of percussion instruments.



Born near Como in the northern Mississippi Delta, his father introduced him to the music as a boy but it was Otha Turner that taught him how to play. He was adept with guitar, drums, harmonica, diddley-bow, fife, and all manner of percussion. He was primarily a fie player and singer, playing a great number of festivals, on appearing on several compilation albums of North Mississippi Country Blues. He also appeared in the bopic documentary film, The Land Where The Blues Began.[2] Strickland was considered by many to have been the premier fife player of his genre, having appeared at numerous festivals, on several recorded compilations and on film. He worked as a share cropper for most of his life, mentoring other musicians in the region. After a car accident he was committed to a nursing home but continued to play for guests even from his bed.


  • V/A - Mississippi Delta Blues Jam in Memphis Vol. 1 - Arhoolie Records
  • V/A - Blow My Blues Away Vol. 1 - Arhoolie Records
  • V/A - Traveling Through the Jungle - Testament Records
  • V/A - Testament Records Sampler - Testament Records
  • V/A - Feel Like Goin' Home Blues - Sony Music Canada
  • V/A - Living Country Blues USA Vol. 7 - Living Country Blues Records
  • V/A - Living Country Blues USA Vol. 10 - Living Country Blues Records
  • V/A - Bottleneck Blues - Hightone Records
  • V/A - Mississippi Delta Blues in the 1960s - Venerable Music
  • V/A - Afro-American Folk Music - Venerable Music
  • V/A - Memphis Swamp Jam - Blue Thumb Records

See also


  1. ^ Date of birth as per Social Security Death Index
  2. ^ Johnson, Greg "Napolian Strickland", Blues Notes, September 18, 2001. Accessed November 6, 2007.

External links



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