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 • Newport Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery
 • Ebenezer
 • Holmes County
 • Mississippi
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Lonnie Pitchford
Birth: Oct. 8, 1955
Lexington
Holmes County
Mississippi, USA
Death: Nov. 8, 1998
Lexington
Holmes County
Mississippi, USA

Blues Musician. A respected Delta Blues revivalist probably best known for his work with the diddley bow, a single-stringed folk zither of African origin. Growing up in a poor but musical Mississippi family, Pitchford made his first diddley bows at age five and won national attention in 1972 when he played one at the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival in Washington, DC. Onstage he would assemble one from scratch using a two-by-four, a couple of nails and a piece of bailing wire, and proceed to spin percussive, exotic blues lines with it; he also built concert-quality acoustic and electric versions. His dedication inspired a number of professional musicians to take it up. As a guitarist, pianist and singer he absorbed Delta Blues from the source, performing with legendary survivors Eugene Powell and Robert "Jr." Lockwood (who had played with Robert Johnson), and promoted it in festival appearances throughout the US, Europe and Australia. He recorded the solo album "All Around Man" (1994), tracks for five blues anthologies, and did session work for John Cougar Mellencamp and others. Blues never paid the bills for Pitchford - he did it for love, not money or fame - and when he wasn't on the road he supported himself by working as a carpenter in his hometown of Lexington. He died of AIDS-related pneumonia at 43, leaving a wife and daughter. He was buried near blues great Elmore James in the Newport Baptist Church Cemetery in Ebenezer, Mississippi. In October 2000, the Mount Zion Memorial Fund placed a granite memorial (sponsored in part by John Fogerty) over his grave, with a functioning diddley bow mounted on the side. Blues pilgrims periodically replace the string to keep it playable. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 

Cause of death: Complications from HIV
 
Burial:
Newport Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery
Ebenezer
Holmes County
Mississippi, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 02, 1999
Find A Grave Memorial# 4257
Lonnie Pitchford
Added by: Anonymous
 
Lonnie Pitchford
Added by: Jeff Buchwald
 
Lonnie Pitchford
Added by: Jeff Buchwald
 
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Remembering you on World AIDS Day, 2014. Rest in peace.
- Jessica
 Added: Dec. 1, 2014

-Anonymous
 Added: Nov. 28, 2014
God Bless You
- Cyberella1000
 Added: Nov. 8, 2014
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