Drink Small
  • Male
  • Columbia, SC
  • United States
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Drink Small's Friends

  • Tampa Blue
  • Blues Boys & Divas Talent
  • Shrimp City Slim
  • Craig Rawding / Delta Generators
  • The Moonshiners
  • Betsy Lynn Paisley
  • Sol
  • Glenn P.M. Patrik
  • Greg Sarni
  • Lee Gates
  • rob ellen
  • Sisters of the South
  • Glenn Gillis
  • Jon T-Bone Taylor
  • Mike "Mojo" Henson



Drink Small is Tryin' to Survive at 75

Music Maker Relief Foundation

Profile Information

About Me:
Rich people got the blues because they are trying to keep the money, the poor people are trying to get the money and I ain't got no money.

They call me the blues Doctor 'cause I can play all the styles, bottleneck, ragtime, Piedmont Blues I can tear them up, Chicago Blues; I am the blues Doctor.

Jesus had the blues. He had them because he didn't want the devil to get all of the souls. He turned the rocks to souls, so the devil wouldn't get them all. You know he turned the water into wine, I guess he did get drunk. Three quarters of the world is water. I'm glad he didn't turn all of the water into wine or we would be in trouble.

I was born in 1933 in Lee County in Bishopville, South Carolina. I started playing when I was 11 years old. We had an old pump organ; I started playing Coon Shine Baby on that. Then I started on the one string guitar; I played Bottle, Up and Go. My uncle had a guitar around and I fooled around on that. I made my own little guitar, for strings I cut up an old inner tube.

When I was in high school I organized a group called the 6 stars. I was ashamed to sing, I was playing instrumental songs like Blind Boy Fuller stuff. I played piano in the church. Then I began to start singing. I came up playing both blues and gospel. On Friday and Saturday night I would make five dollars a night playing at house parties. That was more than a man plowing a mule all week was getting was.

I then went to school to be a barber but I did not want to cut no hair I wanted to cut up.

I became a great guitar player. I joined the Spiritualaires. We recorded on the Vee Jay label. We played the Apollo and toured with Sam Cooke, the Harmonizing Four, and the Staple Singers. We were out there with all the big groups.

When we broke up I came back to Columbia, South Carolina and I started to play for the college kids and they went wild. I recorded a song, "I Love You Alberta" and "Cold, Cold, Rain" on the Sharp label a subsidiary of Savoy. Tarhill Slim was on that label. Since that time I have been to Europe, played at Wolf Trap and toured around the country.

-Drink Small

Drink Small (his real name) was born in 1933 in Bishopville (Lee County), SC. Known worldwide as "The Blues Doctor", he plays virtuoso blues guitar, two-fisted piano, and sings in an inimitable basso profundo voice.

Drink is a recipient of the S.C. Folk Heritage Award, a member of the S.C. Hall of Fame, and has spent his life touring, recording, and playing a spectrum of Southern roots musics.

He has performed at some of the nation's top music festivals - Chicago Blues Festival, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, King Biscuit Blues Festival, Smithsonian-Folklife Festival, Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, Lincoln Center and Central Park concert series (NYC), and every major blues festival in the Southeast.

He has been written up in myriad music magazines (downbeat, Metronome, Blues Revue, Il Blues, Juke Blues, Soul Bag, Blues News) and even made the cover of Living Blues (July/August, 1992 issue).

At the age of 75, Drink Small is at the top of his game and performing better than ever.

Drink performs solo (acoustic or electric) and with his band.

Music can be purchased at iTunes and
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Latest Activity

Anthony Charles left a comment for Drink Small
"Really proud to call the "Blues Doctor" a friend! Great being in Columbia with the one and only Drink Small!"
Mar 12, 2013
Sol left a comment for Drink Small
"much love & respect to ya! peace"
Jun 18, 2009
Mary Anne McLaurin left a comment for Drink Small
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! We love you!!! Mary Anne, Jeff & Miss MaryAnna"
Jan 28, 2009

Comment Wall (12 comments)

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At 10:02pm on March 12, 2013, Anthony Charles said…
Really proud to call the "Blues Doctor" a friend! Great being in Columbia with the one and only Drink Small!
At 7:24pm on August 7, 2009, Charles Bell said…
I like your bio info. You are a cool dude.

This is what caught my eye: "Jesus had the blues."

well I've go the blues too. The permanent kind that the doctor man makes me take meds for. Jesus helps me the most. But the music for this is fantastic. wow is an understatement.

Listen to this, I've been through Bishopville, SC so many times I forgot how many. I went to school and graduated high school in Hartsville just down the road from B'ville. Went to Clemson, graduated in '75. Was in Navy in Charleston. Been in Vicksburg since 1980. Retired now and enjoying the blues. What got me on the blues is Dylan. It was some of those college days that finally came back around and now I'm figuring out where all the guys was gettin their stuff, you know like Willie Dixon .

Well I clicked add as a friend. I hope I get one of those click backs. Don't mind me none. I'm partial to everyone to this world, cause Jesus said we was supposed to be like that and no fooling around or making exceptions.

At 12:52am on June 18, 2009, Sol said…
much love & respect to ya!
At 9:18pm on January 28, 2009, Mary Anne McLaurin said…

We love you!!!

Mary Anne, Jeff & Miss MaryAnna
At 4:13pm on January 20, 2009, Betsy Lynn Paisley said…
Thank you sir!
At 10:25pm on December 30, 2008, billy jones bluez said…
Hi Drink Small,
Here is my wish for the very best to you and all my LiveBluesWorld friends as we take the music of our heritage into 2009 and the 21st century.
It's an honor to be on this journey with you. ..and a pleasure to be your friend. Thank you for allowing me to be a member of the community.

..."true greats" ...are not those born with "golden spoons" in their mouths. ...but those who through "hard work" turn their own "wooden spoons" into "gold".

"...the re-emergence of blues music as serious social commentary."
At 7:48pm on November 23, 2008, John Kepler said…
Great stuff Drink
I hope I get a chance to catch your show.
At 12:20am on November 22, 2008, Kool Breeze~ said…
What an amazing story and thank you for sharing a part of your life with us.. and your love for music and the very heart of the blues. I can only hope when I reach 75 that I can look back with so much pride for my accomplishments in life. I remember daddy talking about The Blues Doctor when I was younger, it's a pleasure to have you hear with us.

At 5:17pm on October 19, 2008, Mary Anne McLaurin said…
Doesn't everyone need a little Drink now and then?
At 4:51am on October 19, 2008, Jacqueline Telford said…
good to see you here. love your music

hope all is good with ya
peace .j

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