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Pink Anderson
Birth name Pinkney Anderson
Born February 12, 1900(1900-02-12)
Origin Laurens, South Carolina, U.S.
Died October 12, 1974 (aged 74)
Genres Piedmont blues
Country blues
Instruments Guitar, Vocals
Years active 1930s - 1960s
Associated acts Little Pink Anderson

Pinkney "Pink" Anderson (February 12, 1900 – October 12, 1974[1]) was a blues singer and guitarist, born in Laurens, South Carolina.


Life and career

After being raised in Spartanburg (in Upstate South Carolina), he joined Dr. Kerr of the Indian Remedy Company in 1914 to entertain the crowds whilst Kerr tried to sell a concoction purported to have medicinal qualities.

In 1916 in Spartanburg, Anderson met Blind Simmie Dooley,[2] from whom he learned to be a blues singer, this after experience in string bands. When Anderson was not traveling with Dr. Kerr, he and Dooley would play to small gatherings in Greenville, Spartanburg, and other neighboring communities, as well as recording four tracks for Columbia Records in Atlanta in April, 1928.[3]

After Dr. Kerr retired in 1945, Anderson stayed more close to home in Spartanburg, keeping his musical talents in tune with an old Gibson J-50 guitar and a harmonica. He still "went out" annually when he could with "Chief Thundercloud" (Leo Kadot) and his medicine show, often with the Jonesville, South Carolina based harmonica-player Peg Leg Sam. Heart problems eventually forced Anderson to retire from the road in 1957.

Anderson went on to make some albums on his own after the blues revival commenced in the early 1960s and played some folk clubs, establishing him as a minor but worthy exponent of the Piedmont school, versed in blues, ragtime, and folk songs.[3] He also appeared in the 1963 film, The Bluesmen. A stroke in the late 1960s curtailed his musical activity.[2] Attempts by folklorist Peter B. Lowry in 1970 to get Anderson on tape were not successful, although apparently he could occasionally summon up some of his past abilities. A final tour took place in the early 1970s with the aid of Roy Book Binder, one of his "students", taking him to Boston and New York.

He died in October 1974, of a heart attack at the age of 74.[1] Anderson's son, known as Little Pink Anderson, is currently a bluesman living in a trailer park in Vermillion, South Dakota.[4]

The Pink in Pink Floyd

Syd Barrett, of English progressive rock band, Pink Floyd, came up with the band's name by juxtaposing the first names of Anderson and North Carolina bluesman, Floyd Council.[3] Barrett noticed the names in the liner notes of a 1962 Blind Boy Fuller album (Philips BBL-7512). The text, written by Paul Oliver, read: "Curley Weaver and Fred McMullen, (...) Pink Anderson or Floyd Council - these were a few amongst the many blues singers that were to be heard in the rolling hills of the Piedmont, or meandering with the streams through the wooded valleys."




  • "Papa's About To Get Mad" / "Gonna Tip Out Tonight" - Pink Anderson and Simmie Dooley (recorded 14 April 1928) - Columbia 14336-D
  • "Every Day In The Week Blues" / "C.C. And O. Blues" - Pink Anderson and Simmie Dooley (recorded 14 April 1928) - Columbia 14400-D


  • American Street Songs - Rev. Gary Davis and Pink Anderson - Riverside RLP 12-611

(Carolina Street Ballads: "John Henry" - "Everyday In The Week" - "The Ship Titanic" - "Greasy Greens" - "Wreck Of The Old 97" - "I've Got Mine" - "He's In The Jailhouse Now") - Pink Anderson (recorded May 29 1950 by Paul Clayton)

  • Pink Anderson: Vol. 1 Carolina Bluesman (1961) Prestige/Bluesville BV 1038

("My Baby Left Me This Morning" - "Baby, Please Don't Go" - "Mama Where Did You Stay Last Night" - "Big House Blues" - "Meet Me In The Bottom" - "Weeping Willow Blues" - "Baby I'm Going Away" - "Thousand Woman Blues" - "I Had My Fun" - "Every Day In The Week" - "Try Some Of That")

  • Pink Anderson: Carolina Medicine Show Hokum & Blues with Baby Tate (1962) Folkways Records FS 3588

("You Don't Know My Mind" - "That's No Way To Do" - "Weeping Willow Blues" - "Meet Me in The Bottom" - "I Got a Woman 'Cross Town" - "Greasy Greens" - "Boweevil" - "Chicken" - "He's In The Jailhouse Now" - "The Titanic" - "The Boys Of Your Uncle Sam" - "Baby Tate" - "See What You Done Done") (recorded live in Spartanburg, 1961-62 by Samuel Charters)

  • Pink Anderson: Vol. 2 Medicine Show Man (1962)Prestige/Bluesville BV 1051 / OBCCD-587-2

("I Got Mine" - "Greasy Greens" - "I Got A Woman 'Way Cross Town" - "Travelin' Man" - "Ain't Nobody Home But Me" - "That's No Way To Do" - "In The Jailhouse Now" - "South Forest Boogie" - "Chicken" - "I'm Going To Walk Through the Streets Of...")

  • The Blues Of Pink Anderson: Ballad & Folksinger, Vol. 3 (1963) Prestige/Bluesville BV 1071 / OBCCD 577-1

("The Titanic" - "Boweevil" - "John Henry" - "Betty And Dupree" - "Sugar Babe" - "The Wreck Of The Old 97" - "I Will Fly Away" - "The Kaiser" - "In The Evening")

See also


  1. ^ a b Dead Rock Stars website - accessed February 2008
  2. ^ a b Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues - From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. pp. 88–89. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.  
  3. ^ a b c Allmusic biography
  4. ^ [1]

External links


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