Next to nothing is known about barrelhouse pianist Charlie Spand
-- the 33 scattered tracks which comprise his recorded legacy are virtually the only concrete proof that he even existed. Although his exact origins are unclear, his 1940 recording "Alabama Blues" contains references to his birth there; academics also offer his earlier performances of "Mississippi Blues" and "Levee Camp Man" as strong evidence of a connection to the Delta. However, Spand
first made a name for himself as a product of the fecund Detroit boogie-woogie scene of the 1920s; between 1929 and 1931, he cut at least 25 tracks for the Paramount label, duetting with Blind Blake
on a rendition of "Moanin' the Blues." His trail is next picked up in 1940, when he recorded eight final tracks in Chicago backed by Little Son Joe
and Big Bill Broonzy
; at that point, however, Spand
seemingly vanished into thin air, and his subsequent activities both in and out of music remain a mystery.