Theodore Roosevelt Darby, better known as Blind Teddy Darby (March 2, 1906 – December 1975), was an American blues singer and guitarist.
Darby was born in Henderson, Kentucky. He moved to St. Louis with his family when he was a child. His mother taught him to play the guitar. He served some time for selling moonshine. In 1926 he lost his eyesight because of glaucoma.
He recorded from 1929 until 1937 under the names Blind Teddy Darby, Blind Darby, Blind Blues Darby and Blind Squire Turner for Paramount, Victor, Bluebird, Vocalion and Decca. In 1960 he was "rediscovered" and recorded by Pete Welding of Testament Records, but the recordings from this session were never released.
Darby was a friend of the blues musician Peetie Wheatstraw. On December 21, 1941, Wheatstraw's 39th birthday, Darby was invited to go for a drive with Wheatstraw and two others, but Darby's wife objected, and he declined the invitation. Wheatstraw and his two companions were killed when their car struck a standing freight train.
In the late 1930s he gave up the blues and became an ordained deacon.
His song "Built Right on the Ground" has been covered (under the title of "I Never Cried"), from the 1970s onwards, by John Miller (who first changed the title), Roy Book Binder, Howard Bursen, and Phil Heywood.
Birth and Death Data: Born March 2nd, 1906 (Henderson), Died December 1st, 1975
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1931 - 1937
Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, guitar, songwriter, composer, lyricist
Notes: Also performs as Blind Squire Turner. Pseudonym for Teddy Darby.
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||BVE-67583||10-in.||9/29/1931||Deceiving blues||Teddy Darby||Male vocal solo, with guitar||lyricist, vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, guitar|
|Victor||BVE-67584||10-in.||9/29/1931||Built right on the ground||Teddy Darby||Male vocal solo, with guitar||lyricist, instrumentalist, guitar, composer, vocalist|
|Victor||BS-77288||10-in.||12/9/1933||She thinks she's slick||Blind Squire Turner ; Tom Webb||Male vocal solo, with guitar and piano||vocalist, songwriter, instrumentalist, guitar|
|Victor||BS-77289||10-in.||12/9/1933||Low mellow||Blind Squire Turner ; Tom Webb||Male vocal solo, with guitar and piano||vocalist, songwriter, instrumentalist, guitar|
|Victor||BS-77290||10-in.||12/9/1933||Don't like the way you do||Blind Squire Turner ; Tom Webb||Male vocal solo, with guitar and piano||songwriter, vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar|
|Victor||BS-77291||10-in.||12/9/1933||She ain't no girl of mine||Blind Squire Turner ; Tom Webb||Male vocal solo, with guitar and piano||vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar, songwriter|
|Victor||BS-77292||10-in.||12/9/1933||Bought a bottle of gin||Blind Squire Turner ; Tom Webb||Male vocal solo, with guitar and piano||vocalist, songwriter, instrumentalist, guitar|
|Victor||BS-77293||10-in.||12/9/1933||Pitty-pat blues||Blind Squire Turner ; Tom Webb||Male vocal solo, with guitar and piano||songwriter, vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar|
|Decca||91210||10-in.||4/30/1937||Spike driver||Teddy Darby||vocalist|
|Decca||91211||10-in.||4/30/1937||The girl I left behind||Teddy Darby||vocalist|
|Decca||91212||10-in.||4/30/1937||Heart trouble blues||Teddy Darby||vocalist|
|Decca||91213||10-in.||4/30/1937||Bootleggin' ain't good no more||Teddy Darby||vocalist|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Darby, Teddy," accessed November 30, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/110400.
Darby, Teddy. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/110400.
"Darby, Teddy." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 30 November 2021.
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