Life and career
Chatmon had a very musical family, all of them lived in Mississippi. Two of Sam's brothers, fiddler Lonnie Chatmon and guitarist Bo Carter, performed with guitarist Walter Vinson as the Mississippi Sheiks. Chatmon himself was a member of the family's string band when he was young. He performed all the time for white audiences in the 1900s.
The Chatmon band played:
Chatmon moved to Hollandale, Mississippi in the early 1940s and worked on plantations in Hollandale. He started playing again in 1960, playing mostly blues music. In the same year, he recorded songs for Arhoolie Records. He went on tours in the 1960s and 1970s and played for many festivals such as the Festival of American Folklife in Washington, D.C. in 1972, the Mariposa Fest in Toronto in 1974, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 1976.
- 1897 - Born in Bolton, Mississippi
- 1900 - Played for white audiences
- 1930 - Recorded with the Sheiks, Lonnie and the Chatman Brothers
- 1940 - Moved to Hollandale, Mississippi, to work on plantations
- 1960 - Rediscovered as a folk-blues artist, he also recorded for the Arhoolie Label
- 1970 - Performed with Fingers Taylor on The Blues Caravan
- 1972 - Played many of his largest and best-known folk festivals
- 1974 - Played the Mariposa Fest in Toronto
- 1976 - Played the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
- 1983 - Died