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Elizabeth Cotten
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    (January 5, 1895-June 29, 1987)
    Born in Carrboro, North Carolina
    Maiden name was Nevills
    Folk/blues guitarist, singer and songwriter
    Recorded the albums 'Folksongs and Instrumentals with Guitar' (1958), 'Shake Sugaree' (1967), 'When I'm Gone' (1979) and 'Live!' (1983)
    Won a Grammy for Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording (1984)
    Her parents could not agree on a name for her, so she was known as 'Babe' and "Little Sis' until she began school.
    She stopped playing guitar for four decades after the deacons at her church told her to give up 'worldly music.'
    Her distinctive guitar style (playing the bass lines with her fingers and melody with her thumb) was dubbed 'Cotten picking.'
    She was a self-taught guitarist.
    She wrote the folk standard 'Freight Train' when she was twelve years old.
    She was rediscovered while working as a maid for the Seeger family, with Mike Seeger recording her first album at their home.
    She was named a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment of the Arts and a Living Treasure by the Smithsonian Institution.

Credit: C. Fishel

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