Mississippi Blues Legend T Model Ford Dies

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Associated Press has reported that James Lewis Carter ‘T-Model’ Ford, a hard-living blues singer who taught himself to play guitar when he was 58 years old and his fifth wife left him, died Tuesday at his home in Greenville, Mississippi.

Apparently Ford’s age was uncertain. AP reports that  County Coroner Methel Johnson said the family told her Ford was born in 1924 and had already had his birthday this year, which would have made him 89. But a blues expert and longtime friend Roger Stolle, said Ford didn’t remember what year he was born and claimed to be 93.

Johnson told the Associated Press that Ford had been under hospice care and died of respiratory failure shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday. She said he was at home with several relatives, including his wife, Estella Ford.

Stolle, who owns the Clarksdale, Miss., record store Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art, accompanied Ford and other bluesmen when they toured Europe in 2009. He also traveled with Ford to gigs in New York.

In his younger days Ford served two years of a 10-year prison sentence for killing a man in self-defense. He had six wives and 26 children, Stolle said. When Ford’s fifth wife left him, she gave him a guitar as a parting gift.

Ford recorded seven albums with three labels, including three albums with Fat Possum Records in Oxford, Miss.

Brian Wise

Brian Wise was the Editor of Addicted To Noise‘s Australian site from 1997 – 2002. The site won two ONYA Awards as Best Online Music Magazine in 1999 & 2000. He has also been Editor since its reincarnation in 2013. He also presents the weekly music interview program Off The Record on 102.7 Triple R-FM (rrr.org.au) in Melbourne. It is networked to 45+ stations across Australia on the Community Radio Network and is a four-time winner of the Best Music Program Award from the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. In 2012, it was nominated as a finalist in the Excellence in Music Programming category. Brian was also the Founding Editor & Publisher of Rhythms Magazine and is now its Senior Contributing Editor.

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