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Mississippi Fred McDowell (Fred McDowell, Rossville, Tennessee, January 12, 1904 - Memphis,Tennessee, July 3, 1972) was a blues singer and guitar player in the North Mississippi style. McDowell was born in Rossville, Tennessee, near Memphis. His parents, who were farmers, died when McDowell was a youth. He started playing guitar at the age of 14 and played at dances around Rossville. Wanting a change from ploughing fields, he moved to Memphis in 1926 where he worked in a number of jobs and played music for tips.