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Frank Stokes



Some consider Frank Stokes the father of Memphis blues rather than W.C. Handy. As a young man, Stokes worked as a blacksmith but spent his weekends performing on Beale Street. It was here he developed his unique and diverse musical style, a mixture of blues, rags, breakdowns, parlor songs, and country/folk tunes while playing with bluesman Dan Sane. The two performed and recorded together for Paramount records as the "Beale Street Sheiks." Stokes died in Memphis in 1955, but his memory lives on with an honorary brass note on Beale Street's Walk of Fame.

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