Skip to main content
UNC Libraries

Riley Puckett

May 7, 1894 - July 13, 1946

Riley Puckett's influence on the development of country music cannot be underestimated. A blind guitar player known for his wide knowledge and repertoire of songs, including British ballads and contemporary numbers, Puckett's guitar technique was emulated by many of the musicians of the folk revival of the 1950s and 1960s, while his haunting yodel on "Rock All Our Babies to Sleep" is believed to be the first of its kind and may have had a tremendous influence on Jimmie Rodgers, the "Blue Yodeler" considered country music's first true star. While he's often associated with the Skillet Lickers, a group he founded with Gid Tanner and with which he performed until 1931, Puckett made over 200 recordings of his own and with other groups until his death in 1946.

Adapted from: Cohen, Norm. "Riley Puckett." The Encyclopedia of Country Music. ed. Paul Kingsbury. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998, 425.