I was lucky enough a couple of years ago on my road trip to the Ole Miss game to spend the night in Clarksdale, Mississippi, home of the blues. One of the highlights of my night there was dropping into a joint called Red’s and watching T-Model Ford. I learned shortly afterwards that he suffered a stroke and, sadly, no longer performed. Given his age (and that’s a matter of whom you asked), I expected that he wasn’t long for this world.
T-Model Ford passed away today. His obituary is a must read.
When Ford was young, he served two years of a 10-year prison sentence for killing a man in self-defense, and he had scars on his ankles from serving on a prison chain gang, Stolle said.
Ford had six wives and 26 children, Stolle said. When Ford’s fifth wife left him, she gave him a guitar as a parting gift.
“He stayed up all night drinking white whiskey,” or moonshine, “and playing the guitar,” Stolle said. “He kind of went on from there.”
This is a good introduction to what Ford was doing late in life:
And this is my favorite tune… NSFW. But it’s catchy.
Stella was with him that night in Clarksdale. She’s a helluva woman, too.
Rest in peace, big man.