Curley James Weaver
(25 March 1906
- 20 September 1962
) was an American blues musician
known as the "Georgia Guitar Wizard".
He was born in Covington
and raised on a farm near Porterdale
. His mother, Savannah "Dip" Shepard Weaver, was a well-respected pianist
, who taught Curley together with her friend's sons, "Barbecue Bob" Hicks
and "Laughing Charlie Lincoln"/Charlie Hicks
. The three formed a group with harmonica player Eddie Mapp, and played in the local area.
In 1925 Weaver moved to Atlanta
, working as a laborer and playing on the streets and at various social events. In 1928, he first recorded
with Columbia Records
, later releasing records
on several different record labels
. Although he recorded on his own during the 1920s and 1930s, first in the style taught by his mother and later with the spreading "Piedmont" style, he was best known for duets
with Blind Willie McTell
- with whom he worked until the 1950s - as well as Barbecue Bob
, Fred McMullen
, and harmonica and guitar
player Buddy Moss
. He was also a member of the recording groups The Georgia Browns (Weaver, Moss, McMullen) and The Georgia Cotton Pickers (Bob, Weaver, Moss), examples of the sort of bands that played house parties in those days.
After WW II he recorded in New York
both solo, and with McTell. His final recordings were in 1949. Weaver lost his sight in the 1950s after working on the railroad, and died in Almon, Georgia in 1962, at the age of 56.
His daughter Cora Mae Bryant (born 1 May 1926
) continues in her father’s tradition as a blues musician.