Sleepy John Estes

Real Name:
John Adam Estes
Profile:
American blues singer & guitarist.
born 25 January 1899 in Ripley, Lauderdale County, Tennessee.
died: 5 June 1977 in Brownsville, Haywood County, Tennessee.

Estes made his debut as a recording artist in Memphis in 1929, at a session organized by Ralph Peer for Victor Records. He later recorded for the Decca and Bluebird labels, with his last pre-war recording session taking place in 1941. He made a brief return to recording at Sun Studio in Memphis in 1952, recording "Runnin' Around" and "Rats in My Kitchen," but otherwise was largely out of the public eye for two decades.

Though only modestly skilled as a guitarist (he was frequently teamed with more capable musicians, like Yank Rachell, Hammie Nixon, and the piano player Jab Jones), Estes was a fine singer, with a distinctive "crying" vocal style. He sounded so much like an old man, even on his early records, that blues revivalists reportedly delayed looking for him because they assumed he would have to be long dead, and because fellow musician Big Bill Broonzy had written that Estes had died. By the time he was tracked down, by Robert G. Koester and Samuel B. Charters in 1962, he had become completely blind and was living in abject poverty. He resumed touring and recording, though his later records are generally considered less interesting than his pre-war output.
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Artist

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Albums

DL-603 The Legend Of Sleepy John Estes — Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes The Legend Of Sleepy John Estes (Album) Delmar Records DL-603 US 1963 Sell This Version
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SLP 172 Portraits In Blues Volume 10 — Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes Portraits In Blues Volume 10 (Album) Storyville SLP 172 UK 1964 Sell This Version
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DS-9608 Broke And Hungry — Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes Broke And Hungry (Album) Delmark Records DS-9608 US 1964 Sell This Version
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DS-9613 Brownsville Blues — Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes Brownsville Blues (Album) Delmark Records DS-9613 US 1965 Sell This Version
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DS-611, DS-9611 Sleepy John Estes In Europe — Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes In Europe (Album) Delmark Records DS-611, DS-9611 US 1966 Sell This Version
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DS-619 Electric Sleep — Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes Electric Sleep (Album) Delmark Records DS-619 US 1968 Sell This Version
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RVS 1008, R.V.S. 1008 Old Original Tennessee Blues — Sleepy John Estes John Estes* / Furry Lewis / Will Shade John Estes* / Furry Lewis / Will Shade - Old Original Tennessee Blues(LP, Mono) Revival Records (3), Revival Records (3) RVS 1008, R.V.S. 1008 UK 1971 Sell This Version
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VPA 8285 Tennessee Blues Vol. 4 — Sleepy John Estes "Sleepy" John A. Estes* Tennessee Blues Vol. 4(LP, Album) Albatros (2) VPA 8285 Italy 1976 Sell This Version
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SLP 4074 Blues Live! — Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes, John Henry Barbee Sleepy John Estes, John Henry Barbee - Blues Live! (Album) Storyville SLP 4074 Denmark 1981 Sell This Version
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DLP 525 Country Blues Live! — Sleepy John Estes Mississippi John Hurt / Robert Pete Williams / John Jackson (4) / Sleepy John Estes & Yank Rachel* Mississippi John Hurt / Robert Pete Williams / John Jackson (4) / Sleepy John Estes & Yank Rachel* - Country Blues Live!(LP, Mono, Ltd, RM) Document Records (2) DLP 525 Austria 1988 Sell This Version
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3A-2025 Blues Is A-Live — Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes, Hammie Nixon With Yuka Dan* Sleepy John Estes, Hammie Nixon With Yuka Dan* - Blues Is A-Live (Album) Showboat 3A-2025 Japan 1995 Sell This Version
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BLU NM 053 Drop Down Mama — Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes Drop Down Mama (Comp) Orbis BLU NM 053 UK 1995 Sell This Version
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TCD 6008 Goin' To Brownsville — Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes Goin' To Brownsville(CD, Album) Testament Records TCD 6008 US 1998 Sell This Version
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SWAX-107 Blues Is A-Live — Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes, Hammie Nixon With Yuka Dan* Sleepy John Estes, Hammie Nixon With Yuka Dan* - Blues Is A-Live(CD, Album, Ltd, RE, Pap) Showboat SWAX-107 Japan 1999 Sell This Version
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KATCD117 Stone Blind Blues — Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes Stone Blind Blues(CD, Album) Catfish Records KATCD117 UK 1999 Sell This Version
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ABMMCD 1012 Working Man Blues — Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes Working Man Blues(CD, Album) ABM ABMMCD 1012 UK 1999 Sell This Version
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CBL 200009 The Essential — Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes The Essential(CD, Album) Classic Blues CBL 200009 US 2001 Sell This Version
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DE-639, 639 Newport Blues — Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes, Yank Rachell, Hammie Nixon Sleepy John Estes, Yank Rachell, Hammie Nixon - Newport Blues (Album) Delmark Records, Delmark Records DE-639, 639 US 2002 Sell This Version
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DE 797, 797 On 80 Highway — Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes With Hammie Nixon Sleepy John Estes With Hammie Nixon - On 80 Highway(CD, Album) Delmark Records, Delmark Records DE 797, 797 US 2008 Sell This Version
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DE 835, 835 Live In Japan — Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes With Hammie Nixon Sleepy John Estes With Hammie Nixon - Live In Japan(CD, Album) Delmark Records, Delmark Records DE 835, 835 US 2014 Sell This Version
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CD DAF 102 Tennessee Blues Vol. 2 — Sleepy John Estes Hammie Nixon / "Sleepy" John Adam Estes* Hammie Nixon / "Sleepy" John Adam Estes* - Tennessee Blues Vol. 2 Albatros (2) CD DAF 102 Europe 1997 Sell This Version
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PA-6059 Blues Live! Sleepy & Hammie Meet Japanese People — Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes, Hammie Nickson* Sleepy John Estes, Hammie Nickson* - Blues Live! Sleepy & Hammie Meet Japanese People(LP, Album) Delmark Records PA-6059 Japan Unknown Sell This Version
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120.913 Recorded Live 1966 / 1974 — Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes Featuring James 'Yank' Rachel* And Hammie Nixon Sleepy John Estes Featuring James 'Yank' Rachel* And Hammie Nixon - Recorded Live 1966 / 1974(LP, Album) Wolf Records (2) 120.913 Austria Unknown Sell This Version
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120.916 Southern Blues — Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes & Hammie Nixon / Sonny Boy Nelson Sleepy John Estes & Hammie Nixon / Sonny Boy Nelson - Southern Blues(LP) Wolf Records (2) 120.916 Austria Unknown Sell This Version
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Singles & EPs

V-38582 Broken Hearted, Ragged And Dirty, Too / Black Mattie Blues — Sleepy John Estes John Estes* Broken Hearted, Ragged And Dirty, Too / Black Mattie Blues(Shellac, 10") Victor V-38582 US 1930 Sell This Version