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Tampa Red's depression after wife's death in 1953

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cjblues04:
Was there a slew of factors that contributed to Tampa Red's mental health declining, and him becoming a major alcoholic in the mid 1950s? For some reason, just his wife passing away doesn't seem like enough. There had to have been something else to make him semi-permanently stop recording for the rest of his life. (He recorded again around 1961 for the last time.)

Blues Vintage:
From Early Blues - Jas Obrecht;

Approaching age fifty, Whittaker retired from the night life to
care for Frances, who had a serious heart condition. Tampa’s wife
was “mother and God to him both,” as Sunnyland Slim put it, and
her death in 1954 left Tampa a broken man. He quit performing
and escalated his drinking. Rumors of his erratic behavior began
to circulate, and for a while he was confined to a mental hospital.
“I got sick and had a nervous breakdown,” he explained, citing his
inability to refuse a drink as the cause.

Johnm:
It seems a bit tough to be subjecting a person long since dead to uninformed speculation with regard to his mental/emotional state in the wake of the death of a loved one and conjecture with regard to his career choices (or anything else). For the great majority of musicians who stop recording, the reason for their stopping is simple enough--they stop being asked to record. How about a little respect for the privacy of a great musician who doesn't owe us anything in the way of explanations. 

blueshome:
Thanks John, I was going to use different words to say the same.
The OP seems to have, perhaps, less knowledge of both the history of  African Americans in the 20thC. and of of blues history than many of us here.

cjblues04:

--- Quote from: Johnm on August 19, 2021, 09:07:59 PM ---It seems a bit tough to be subjecting a person long since dead to uninformed speculation with regard to his mental/emotional state in the wake of the death of a loved one and conjecture with regard to his career choices (or anything else). For the great majority of musicians who stop recording, the reason for their stopping is simple enough--they stop being asked to record. How about a little respect for the privacy of a great musician who doesn't owe us anything in the way of explanations.

--- End quote ---

Ohhhh, okay. Thanks John for this well-crafted answer, this really didn't even cross my mind. Sorry for my pure ignorance.

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