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MMD > Archives > October 2001 > 2001.10.26 > 02Prev  Next

Blind Tom Bethune, Tom Wiggins, John Davis, etc
By Bob Pinsker

Dear folks:

There seems to be a certain amount of confusion about these characters!

Blind Tom, the 19th century pianist, born May 25, 1849 has usually been
referred to as Blind Tom Bethune, where his last name comes from the
guy (James Bethune) who bought his father, Domingo Wiggins and mother
Charity Greene at auction when Tom was a baby, and subsequently
managed Tom's concert career for many years.  Apparently when Tom
turned 21, Bethune had Tom declared legally insane, and himself as
Tom's legal guardian.  Source: fascinating webpage by Barbara Schmidt

But Tom was born as Tom Wiggins, and apparently John Davis refers to
him by that name. John Davis is the contemporary pianist and expert on
Blind Tom (Bethune/Wiggins).  There is a fascinating article about
Davis and his work on Tom in the Brown Alumni Magazine at

      Best regards,
           Bob Pinsker
           San Diego, CA

(Message sent Fri 26 Oct 2001, 19:09:57 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Bethune, Blind, Davis, etc, John, Tom, Wiggins

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