Published Jul 16, 2013The blues world has lost a star in T-Model Ford, who died today (July 16) at home in Greenville, MS. His exact age is unconfirmed, but an announcement from Fat Possum Records says that he was 94.
T-Model Ford, born James Lewis Carter Ford, didn't start playing music until later in life. In his early years, he worked various blue-collar jobs, wrote an advice column, spent time in prison, and, according to a 2003 story by the Guardian, allegedly fathered 26 children. He wasn't sure exactly what year he was born, and conflicting reports suggest that he may have been 89, 93 or 94.
Ford didn't start playing guitar until around the age of 58 when, according to the Associated Press, his fifth wife left him. Starting in the '90s, he gained recognition with a string of albums for labels like Fat Possum and Alive Records.
Ford had apparently suffered a long illness and was in hospice care at the time of his death. He was with relatives including his wife, Estella Ford, when he died of respiratory failure this morning.