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Jay was himself born near the source of one of the tributaries of the river in Irwin County, Georgia (in 1921). He started performing in medicine shows at the age of 5. In 1932 he moved on, to the Silas Green show, a travelling minstrel show and vaudeville revue that had also once employed Bessie Smith. Aged 14, he became a one-man band.

The scant few facts known about his life were printed on a folded leaflet he used to hand out at shows, entitled ‘How Great Thou Art Abner Jay’. He described himself thus: ‘World’s Champion Cotton Picker and Pea Picker, World’s Fastest Tobacco Crapper, World’s Greatest Jaw Bone Player, World’s Fastest Mule Skinner… THE WORLD’S WORSE BUSINESS MAN’. (guardian)

Throwback: Abner Jay – Cocaine Blues (don lowed)

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Throwback: Abner Jay РI Wanna Job (don lowed)

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