Born without eyesight on a Georgia plantation in 1849, “Blind Tom” Wiggins learned to play piano by ear and became a prodigiously gifted player, improviser and composer, mixing and (mis-)matching tunes into sardonic collage compositions of the sort Ives and Shostakovich would come up with decades later. He became one of the country’s highest-paid performers — though he got little of the money himself, even after emancipation. – The New York Times

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