Blind Alfred Reed is often considered as the first protest singer in the history of music; his classics "Why Do You Bob Your Hair Girls" or "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?" leave no doubt with their critical comments on the social situation of of the 1920s. Born in 1980 in Virginia, he was blind since he was born and learned to play the fiddle as a child. Ralph Peer heard Reed perform at a fiddler's convention and invited him to record during Peer's famed Bristol Session. After Bristol, Reed kept on recording until 1929. After that, he played at local venues and died in 1956, reportedly starving to death.
Here are some of his songs, compiled from various sources:
1. How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?
2. Black and Blue Blues
3. You Must Unload