Thanks for the links Tom. That's quite a life story. I seemed to have never gotten the announcement for the annual Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival in Thomson, Georgia. I especially enjoyed the reference to the many different names under which he recorded: Blind Willie McTell, Blind Sammie, Georgia Bill, Hot Shot Willie, Blind Willie, Barrelhouse Sammie, and best of all, Pig & Whistle Red.
You could name a whole stable of horses using all of his stage names.
“Who are you? Do you see you the way you want to be seen? Then you must see character in yourself, discipline in yourself, determination in yourself - to survive - with dignity, no matter how tough the world around you is. Is that who you are? If not, is that who you want to be?”