Lead Belly or Leadbelly
(Note: Though many releases list him as “Leadbelly,” he himself spelled it “Lead Belly.” This is also the usage on his tombstone.)
Birth name: Huddie William Ledbetter
January 23, 1888 ? - December 6, 1949
Birthplace: Mooringsport, Louisiana
Bio notes: Lead Belly was an iconic American folk and blues musician, notable for his strong vocals, his virtuosity on the 12-string guitar, and the songbook of folk standards he introduced. Although Lead Belly most commonly played the twelve string, he could also play the piano, mandolin, harmonica, violin, concertina, and accordion. In some of his recordings, such as in one of his versions of the folk ballad “John Hardy,” he performs on the accordion instead of the guitar. In other recordings he just sings while clapping his hands or stomping his foot.