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Eddie Kirkland

Born: 
08/16/1923
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Died: 
02/27/2011
Cause of Death: 
Years Active: 
1930's-2011
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Edward Kirkland was born to a 12-year-old mother in either Dothan, AL (according to his family), or in Kingston, Jamaica (according to him). In either case, he was known to have been living in Dothan by the time he was a small child. He was known as the "Gypsy of the Blues" because of his rigorous touring schedule.

After his discharge from the US Army, Kirkland traveled to Detroit where his mother had relocated. After a days work at the Ford Rouge Plant, Kirkland played his guitar at house parties and there he met John Lee Hooker. Kirkland was a frequent second guitarist in recordings from 1949-1962. "It was difficult playin' behind Hooker but I had a good ear and was able to move in behind him on anything he did." Kirkland became Hooker's road manager and the two traveled from Detroit to the Deep South on many tours, the last being in 1962 when Hooker abandoned Kirkland to go overseas. After his period of working in tandem with Hooker he pursued a successful solo career, recording for RPM Records, Fortune Records, Volt Records and King Records, sometimes under the stage name Eddie Kirk. Kirkland continued to tour, write and record albums until his death in February 2011.