Arthur "Blind" Blake (born 1896 in Jacksonville, Florida and died December 1, 1934) was a very influential singer and guitarist of ragtime and blues. It is often called The King Of Ragtime Guitar ".
The life of Blind Blake is very poorly known. His birthplace, Jacksonville, indicated by Paramount Records remains controversial. Even his name could lead to confusion. The names on the copyright of his songs are variants of Blind Arthur Blake although some people think he was born Arthur Phelps what Blake denies.
He moved to Atlanta in the early 1920s, and began to introduce his ragtime style to the area. He asserts himself more as a ragtime player than a bluesman.
In 1926, he moved to Chicago and was discovered by the record company "Paramount Records" then in search of a new big seller, after having signed Ma Rainey, Papa Charlie Jackson and Blind Lemon Jefferson. He then makes his first recordings which are sold in large quantities. His first solo record is Early Morning Blues with West Coast Blues on Side B. Both titles are very good examples of his style; the first is closer to blues, the second is ragtime.
He continues to record during the year 1927, producing without doubt his best compositions, with always this syncopated style typical of ragtime. His reputation is made. He returned to the Paramount Records studio the following year, playing this time with more and more musicians to accompany his guitar. It is then a major element of the Chicago music scene.