Elizabeth Cotten

Also known as Cotton, E. Cotten, E. Cotton, Eliz. Cotten, Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten, Elizabeth Cotton, LIbba Cotten

Discography of Elizabeth Cotten:

# Release title Total tracks Type of release is Imprint date Label
1 Folksongs And Instrumentals With Guitar 14 Audio 1983 Folkways Records
2 The Guitar Of Elizabeth Cotten Taught By John MIller 6 Audio 2002 Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop
3 Live! 11 Audio 1983 Arhoolie Records
4 Live! 11 Audio 1998-10-20 Arhoolie Records
5 Volume 3: When I'm Gone 13 Audio 1979 Folkways Records
6 Vol. 2: Shake Sugaree 16 Audio 1967 Folkways Records
7 Shake Sugaree 26 Audio 2004 Smithsonian Folkways
8 Freight Train And Other North Carolina Folk Songs And Tunes 14 Audio 1989 Smithsonian Folkways
9 Negro Folk Songs And Tunes 18 Audio 1958 Folkways Records
10 Folksongs And Instrumentals With Guitar 14 Audio 2012-09-04 Smithsonian Folkways
11 KBOO Presents Elizabeth Cotten / Marisa Anderson 2 Audio 2013
12 Freight Train And Other North Carolina Folk Songs And Tunes 14 Audio 1989 Smithsonian Folkways
13 Masters Of The Country Blues 13 Audio 1992 Yazoo
14 20th Anniversary Concert 14 Audio Flying Fish (2)

Elizabeth Cotten (January 5, 1895 – June 29, 1987) was a self taught blues and folk musician, singer and songwriter from Carrboro, North Carolina. She developed her own style of playing left-handed by holding a normally tuned guitar upside down so she played the melodies with her thumb and the bass lines with her fingers. Her style of playing became known as "Cotten picking".

Cotten wrote most of her music in her early teens and earlier (she wrote Freight Train at age 11). After marrying at 15 and getting work as a maid she stopped playing music for 40 years. It wasn't until she was working as a maid for [a=Charles Seeger], an avid music lover, that she relearned how to play the guitar.

In the 50s [a=Mike Seeger] began to record Cotten on reel to reel tape. In 1960 she began to play live for the first time, her first show was with [a=Mike Seeger] and she went on to perform with musicians such as [a=Mississippi John Hurt], [a=John Lee Hooker], and [a=Muddy Waters]. Because of the positive reaction Cotten began to write, record and tour with new material which she continued to do into her 80s. In 1984 she won the Grammy "Best Ethnic or Traditional Recording" for the album [r1624829].

Elizabeth died when she was 92 in Syracuse, New York.

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