Bukka White performs his 1940 song “Aberdeen Mississippi Blues” shortly before his death in 1977. White was called the master of the National Steel Guitar, and here you see the flashy crossover move with his hands that never failed to impress his audiences.
Bukka White had an impeccable blues lineage, being a first cousin to B.B. King. Arne Brogger recalls a 1974 concert he organized featuring Bukka, B.B. King and Muddy Waters:
Bukka opened the show, Muddy played next and B.B. closed. The show started at 8:00 and B.B. finally came down from the stage at 1:00 a.m. There were 3,500 people there, and no one left. At the close of the show, B.B. called Bukka up on the stage to acknowledge him. Bukka grabbed the mike and began to talk. He reminded B.B. of the first guitar B.B. ever had — a red Stella given to him by Bukka. Bukka said B.B. was about 9 years old at the time. “You remember, B, you was so little next to that big red Stella…” There was absolute silence. B.B. was looking at the tops of his shoes. His eyes were filling. He looked for all the world like a 9-year-old boy standing on that stage. “Yeah… I sure do remember,” he finally said, and then he threw his arms around Bukka. The audience erupted.
Here’s an earlier film clip, with Bukka playing the same song in a much harder, more percussive style: