Little Pink Anderson

Little Pink Anderson was dealt an interesting hand in life, but it took him a long time to learn how best to play it. Born Alvin Anderson on July 13, 1954, in Spartanburg, SC, the son of blues legend Pinkney "Pink" Anderson and Mary Geneva Flynn Bryant, Little Pink was dancing on-stage during the elder Anderson's sets on the Southern medicine show and county fair circuit by the time he was three years old. His mother died when he was five, and his stepmother died a couple years later, leaving a hole in Little Pink's life that took years to fill. He learned guitar from his father, and was playing well enough as a young teen to go out on the road as part of Clarence Carter's band (until they discovered how young he really was and sent him home). Anderson started to run with a rough crowd, and at 18 he was convicted of armed robbery and was given a 15-year prison sentence. He was still in prison when his father died in 1974. Anderson was given parole in 1979 and began his intermittent blues career, but he still had a few demons to work out of his system, and when he was arrested in 1994 for driving on a suspended license, he found himself back in prison. This time Anderson came to terms with his life, decided to refuse an early parole, and finished his full 33-month sentence in order to leave the prison system a free man. Once out, Anderson threw himself into music full-time and developed a strong reputation as an electric guitar player. More recently, he has also turned to the acoustic guitar and began working the festival circuit, frequently playing his father's medicine show repertoire, often in conjunction with harmonica player Freddie Vanderford. A privately released cassette LP by the pair called The Legacy Duo: SCETV Sessions documents this period of Anderson's career. Carolina Bluesman, a full-length CD featuring Little Pink doing versions of his father's songs, was released by Music Maker in 2005. ~ Steve Leggett

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