Home Today's Reason to Drink January 20: Lead Belly’s Birthday

January 20: Lead Belly’s Birthday


On this day in 1888, legendary bluesman Huddie William Ledbetter was born on a Louisiana bayou. You probably know him as Lead Belly, a nickname some folklorists believe he earned by being able to put away prodigious amounts of raw moonshine. He sang a lot of songs about drinking because he did a lot of drinking. True story: Lead Belly once got in a knife fight with six men because he claimed they stole whiskey from his lunch pail. Look, you don’t steal a man’s lunch whiskey. Top quote: “Now what would you do when your baby packing up her trunk? You get a half a gallon of whiskey, you get on your big drunk.”

Previous articleJanuary 19: The Neon Sign Is Patented
Next articleJanuary 21: General Ethan Allen’s Birthday
Editor/Publisher of Modern Drunkard Magazine.