One of the most popular artists of the 20s, 30s and 40s,
Tampa red was probably the all-time best-selling Georgia
bluesman. He may well have been the most influential
bottleneck stylist in blues. He perfected the single-string
slide attack and smooth bottleneck tones mimicked by a
number of Georgians and later post-war artists.
Tampa Red became known during the 1920s and ‘30s as
"The Guitar Wizard," the musician developing a unique
slide-guitar style that was picked up and expanded upon by
Robert Nighthawk, Chuck Berry, and Duane Allman, among
other followers. Born in Smithville, Georgia in 1904 as
Hudson Whitaker, he earned the nickname "Tampa Red"
for his bright red hair and upbringing in Florida.
Whitaker moved to Chicago in the mid-1920s and teamed
up with pianist "Georgia" Tom Dorsey as "The Hokum
Boys." Both musicians had previously played together in
singer Ma Rainey's vaudeville band