August 17, 1939
Blues guitarist and singer Luther Allison was born in Widener (St. Francis County). The son of cotton farmers, he was the fourteenth of fifteen children, all of whom were musically inclined. Although born in Arkansas, he, like many of his contemporaries in the rural South, rose to fame in cities far from his original home. His style exemplified the soulful blues of the west side of Chicago, Illinois, where he moved with his family as a child. In 1977, when the popularity of the blues had faded in the United States, he began touring Europe extensively and became an international star.