Henry Thomas Portrait


Henry Thomas was an early African-American Guitarist. He also played the Quills in a Harmonica Holder. His style is a good example of what African-American Guitar Music may have sounded like before the development of the Blues. He considered a Songster by some, because of his wide repertoire and Medicine Show experience.


Henry 'Ragtime Texas' Thomas was born in 1874 in Big Sandy, Texas. He played on the street in Dallas, dances, birthday parties, Trains, and any other place he felt like playing in. He was a Hobo who traveled throughout the south by the Texas Railroad and Pacific Railroad. Mac McCormic met him in 1949; he said that he was a big man, about 6' 3" (McCormick 1974). After 1929, he completely disappeared; not much was known about him apart from some accounts from people who claimed they saw him. It is believed that he died some time in the late 1950s.

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