September 2, 1911 – May 9, 1976
Probably more famous these days for being the actual Floyd from Pink Floyd (the other half being Pink Anderson),
Floyd Council was a blues singer and guitar slinger who played in the East Coast / Piedmont style. It’s unfortunate he didn’t record solo often, but he’s still said to have recorded 27 songs, many backing up the legendary Blind Boy Fuller. Many of these tunes can be found on the Fuller collection: Complete Recorded Works – Vol. 1 (1935-1936)
No full albums are available of Floyd Council’s work, but the compilation Carolina Blues, 1937-1947 features six of his performances: “I’m Grievin’ and I’m Worryin'”, “I Don’t Want No Hungry Woman”, “Lookin’ For My Baby”, “I’m Broke and I Ain’t Got a Dime”, “Runaway Man Blues” and “Working Man Blues”.
Born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina to Harrie and Lizzie Council, Floyd began his musical career on the streets of Chapel Hill in the 1920s, performing with two brothers, Leo and Thomas Strowd as “The Chapel Hillbillies”. He recorded twice for ARC at sessions with Blind Boy Fuller in the mid-thirties, all examples of the Piedmont style. He was sometimes promoted as ‘Dipper Boy Council’, and ‘The Devil’s Daddy-in-Law’; but these were likely the invention of record companies, not genuine nicknames.
Council suffered a stroke in the late 1960s which partially paralyzed his throat muscles and slowed his motor skills, but did not significantly damage his cognitive abilities. Folklorist Peter B. Lowry attempted to record him one afternoon in 1970, but he never regained his singing or playing abilities. Accounts say that he remained “quite sharp in mind”.
Council died in 1976 of a heart attack, after moving to Sanford, North Carolina.
Here’s Floyd Council performing Runaway Man Blues: