Algia Mae Hinton

Piedmont blues performer Algia Mae Hinton was born in 1929 in Johnston County, North Carolina; the daughter of Ollie O'Neal (a local legend whose musical skills were so extraordinary that many believed she'd made a pact with the devil), she began playing guitar at age nine, and as a teen was a fixture at area dances and house parties. A gifted buckdancer as well as musician, Hinton spent the better part of her life enduring seasonal farm work; after the tragically premature death of her husband, she was left to raise their seven children alone. She did not make her professional debut until 1978, appearing at the North Carolina Folklife Festival; from there, she went on to take the stage at the National Folk Festival, the Chicago University Folk Festival, and even Carnegie Hall, and in 1992 was honored with the North Carolina Folk Heritage Award. In 1999, Hinton finally released her debut LP, Honey Babe. She died in February 2018 at her home in Middlesex, North Carolina at the age of 88. ~ Jason Ankeny

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