Teddy Darby

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.

Recordings

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  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Darby, Teddy," accessed November 29, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/110400.

Darby, Teddy. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved November 29, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/110400.

"Darby, Teddy." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 29 November 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/110400

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