Bukka White, naprawdę nazywał się Booker T. Washington White. Nie jest do końca potwierdzona data jego urodzenia, najczęściej podawana jest 12.11.1909 Houston Mississippi. W wieku 9 lat dostał gitarę, a jego pierwszym nauczycielem był ojciec John White. W 1930r. nagrywa pierwsze utwory dla wytwórni Victor jako Washington White. Wtedy to otrzymuje przydomek "Bukka". W latach 1935-37 gra w drużynie baseballa i walczy w profesjonalnych walkach bokserskich. W 1937r. trafia do więzienia przed pójściem do niego nagrywa dwa utwory dla Vocalion Records w tym jeden z jego hitów "Shake'em On Down". Będąc w więzieniu w 1939r. nagrywa dwa utwory dla Biblioteki Kongresu: "Sic'Em Dogs On" i "Po Boy" W 1940r. wyjeżdża do Chicago i nagrywa znów dla Vocalion. Pod koniec lat 40-tych pomaga swojemu kuzynowi B.B. Kingowi, który dostał od niego gitarę. W 1963r. zostaje odkryty ponownie przez Johna Fahey'a i Eda Densona, w czym pomogła nagrana w 1962r. przez Boba Dylana wersja jego "Fixin' to Die". W 1967r. występuje w Europie z American Folk Blues Festival. W 1968r. występuje na IO w Meksyku. W 1973r. gra z B.B. Kingiem na New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, dostaje też nominację do Grammy Awards. Umiera w Memphis 26 lutego 1977r. (blues.com.pl)
Booker T. Washington "Bukka" White (November 12, 1909 – February 26, 1977) was an American Delta blues guitarist and singer. "Bukka" is a phonetic spelling of White's given name, first used by his second (1937) record label (Vocalion).
Born between Aberdeen and Houston, Mississippi, White was a first cousin of B.B. King's mother (White's mother and King's grandmother were sisters). White himself is remembered as a player of National steel guitars. He also played, but was less adept at, the piano.
White started his career playing the fiddle at square dances. He claims to have met Charlie Patton early on, although some doubt has been cast upon this; Regardless, Patton was a large influence on White. White typically played slide guitar, in an open tuning. He was one of the few, along with Skip James, to use a crossnote tuning in E minor, which he may have learned, as James did, from Henry Stuckey.
He first recorded for the Victor Records label in 1930. His recordings for Victor, like those of many other bluesmen, fluctuated between country blues and gospel numbers. Victor published his photograph in 1930. His gospel songs were done in the style of Blind Willie Johnson, with a female singer accentuating the last phrase of each line.
Nine years later, while serving time for assault, he recorded for folklorist John Lomax. The few songs he recorded around this time became his most well-known: "Shake 'Em on Down," and "Po' Boy."
Bob Dylan covered his song "Fixin' to Die Blues", which aided a "rediscovery" of White in 1963 by guitarist John Fahey and ED Denson, which propelled him onto the folk revival scene of the 1960s. White had recorded the song simply because his other songs had not particularly impressed the Victor record producer. It was a studio composition of which White had thought little until it re-emerged thirty years later.
White was at one time managed by experienced blues manager Arne Brogger. Fahey and Denson found White easily enough: Fahey wrote a letter to "Bukka White (Old Blues Singer), c/o General Delivery, Aberdeen, Mississippi." Fahey had assumed, given White's song, "Aberdeen, Mississippi", that White still lived there, or nearby. The postcard was forwarded to Memphis, Tennessee, where White worked in a tank factory. Fahey and Denson soon traveled to meet White, and White and Fahey remained friends through the remainder of White's life. He recorded a new album for Denson and Fahey's Takoma Records, whilst Denson became his manager.
White was, later in life, also friends with fellow musician Furry Lewis. The two recorded, mostly in Lewis' Memphis apartment, an album together, Furry Lewis, Bukka White & Friends: Party! At Home.
One of his most famous songs, "Parchman Farm Blues", about the Mississippi State Penitentiary (also known as Parchman Farm) in Sunflower County, Mississippi, was released on Harry Smith's fourth volume of the Anthology of American Folk Music, Vol. 4. The song was covered by The Traits/aka Roy Head and the Traits with Johnny Winter in the late 1960s. His 1937 version of the oft-recorded song, "Shake 'Em On Down," is considered definitive, and became a hit while White was serving time in Parchman.
White died in February 1977 from cancer, at the age of 67, in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1990 he was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame (along with Blind Blake and Lonnie Johnson). On November 21, 2011, The Recording Academy announced that "Fixin' to Die Blues" was to be added to its 2012 list of Grammy Hall of Fame Award recipients.