Blind Boy Fuller

Fulton Allen (July 10, 1904 – February 13, 1941), known as Blind Boy Fuller, was an American blues guitarist and singer. Fuller was one of the most popular of the recorded Piedmont blues artists, along with Blind Blake, Josh White, and Buddy Moss.

Allen was born in Wadesboro, North Carolina, United States, one of ten children of Calvin Allen and Mary Jane Walker. Most sources date his birth to 1907, but the researchers Bob Eagle and Eric LeBlanc indicate 1904. After the death of his mother, he moved with his father to Rockingham, North Carolina. As a boy he learned to play the guitar and also learned from older singers the field hollers, country rags, traditional songs and blues popular in poor rural areas.

He married young, to Cora Allen, and worked as a laborer. He began to lose his eyesight when he was in his mid-teens. According to the researcher Bruce Bastin, “While he was living in Rockingham he began to have trouble with his eyes. He went to see a doctor in Charlotte who allegedly told him that he had ulcers behind his eyes, the original damage having been caused by some form of snow-blindness.” Only the first part of this diagnosis was correct. A 1937 eye examination attributed his vision loss to the long-term effects of untreated neonatal conjunctivitis.

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