Actions
Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Cephases in:
 • Quantico National Cemetery
 • Quantico
 • Prince William County
 • Virginia
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Advertisement
John "Bowling Green" Cephas
Birth: Sep. 4, 1930
Washington
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
Death: Mar. 4, 2009
Woodford
Caroline County
Virginia, USA

Blues Guitarist and Singer. He teamed with harmonica player Phil Wiggins to form the duo "Cephas & Wiggins" and play "Piedmont Blues" music the world over. Raised in Bowling Green, Virginia, about 75 miles south of Washington, he was the grandson of a slave, learned music early, and began playing in public at around age 9. He joined the Capitol Harmonizers, and toured for a number of years with piano-player Big Chief Ellis, while working as a master carpenter at the National Guard Armory in Washington. After US Army service during the Korean War, Mr. Cephas continued his dual career as a local musician, and as a carpenter; the course of his life changed when he met Mr. Wiggins in 1976. From 1977 to the end of Mr. Cephas' life, "Cephas & Wiggins" toured, and recorded, nationally, and (usually under State Department sponsorship), internationally. Their first records, "Living Country Blues" and "Sweet Bitter Blues" were cut in Germany in 1981. Their first domestic album, "Dog Days of August", won a Blues Music Award in 1987. That same year, they were named W.C. Handy Blues Entertainers of the year, and, in 1988, they played at the Russian Folk Festival. In 1989, the duo received the National Heritage Fellowship Award, and, in 1997, performed for President Bill Clinton at the White House. Mr. Cephas also had a small career as an actor, appearing in "Blind Man's Blues", and "Polk County" in Washington. He leaves behind numerous records, the last, "Richmond Blues", made for the Smithsonian in 2008. Mr. Cephas, whose birth date is sometimes given as December 4, died of pulmonary fibrosis. He was honored at the Library of Virginia the week prior to his death. Of his art, he said "Blues music is truth". (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
 
Burial:
Quantico National Cemetery
Quantico
Prince William County
Virginia, USA
Plot: Section 4 Grave 197
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Mar 07, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34542345
John Bowling Green Cephas
Added by: Bob Hufford
 
John Bowling Green Cephas
Added by: John Evans
 
John Bowling Green Cephas
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Hawkflyer
 
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.


- quebecoise
 Added: May. 23, 2015

- James Snow
 Added: Mar. 5, 2015
RIP
- Mike Caldwell
 Added: Mar. 4, 2015
There are 77 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (3.9 after 32 votes)
 

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service