Blind Willie McTell

Blind Sammie
Birth Name:
William Samuel McTier
Birth Date:
May 5, 1898
Birth Place:
Thomson, Georgia
Death Date:
August 19, 1959
Place of Death:
Milledgeville State Hospital, Milledgeville, Georgia
Cause of Death:
Cemetery Name:
Jones Grove Baptist Church
Claim to Fame:
“Blind Willie” McTell was one of the great blues musicians of the 1920s and 1930s who continued to play through the 1950s. Displaying an extraordinary range on the twelve-string guitar, this Atlanta-based musician recorded more than 120 titles during fourteen recording sessions. His voice was soft and expressive, and his musical tastes were influenced by southern blues, ragtime, gospel, hillbilly, and popular music. At a time when most blues musicians were poorly educated and rarely traveled, McTell was an exception. He could read and write music in Braille. McTell's influence extended over a wide variety of artists, including the Allman Brothers Band, who covered his song "Statesboro Blues", and Bob Dylan, who paid tribute to him in his 1983 song "Blind Willie McTell" and covered a number of his songs throughout his career. Blind Willie was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame in 1981.

Fun Fact

Blind Willie McTell recorded under nearly a dozen different names to skirt recording contracts exclusivity clauses. McTell recorded as Blind Willie McTell (for Victor and Decca Records), Blind Sammie (for Columbia Records), Georgia Bill (for Okeh Records), Hot Shot Willie (for Victor Records), Blind Willie (for Vocalion and Bluebird Records), Barrelhouse Sammie (for Atlantic Records), and as Pig & Whistle Red (for Regal Records).

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Jones Grove Baptist Church

1062 Happy Valley Rd SW

Thomson, Georgia, 30824


North America

Grave Location:

McTell Family Plot

Grave Location Description

Park in the the church parking lot and walk along the road to the two large trees. Look to the left of the two large trees three graves over and five rows from the church entrance and you will find the final resting place of Blind Willie McTell. Or you can walk the entire cemetery in 10 minutes and discover his grave on your own.

Grave Location GPS

33.35383353421, -82.4946412762

Visiting The Grave:



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