Austin Blues Legend Counts on MOWCTX

From time to time, Hosea Hargrove grabs the guitar, cradles it in his arms and plucks the strings.  For the most part though, the instrument lays in his room, idle, a faint reverberation of a lifetime spent singing the blues.

Born in Smithville, Texas, and raised in nearby Crafts Prairie, Mr. Hargrove began playing music early on.  Perhaps it was inevitable.  Several prominent blues men were born in and around Crafts Prairie, including Grey Ghost, Son Chase, and Funny Papa Smith.  Mr. Hargrove taught himself how to join their ranks.  “He made his own guitar out of a cigar box and he strung it himself and he just started playing on his own,” says his daughter, Shirley Vincent.  Older musicians in the area took him under their wing and he soon developed a well-earned reputation for his live shows and recordings.  So much so he eventually schooled a young Jimmie Vaughan in the ways of blues guitar, and had fans all over the world. “He performed at some of the renowned blues festivals in Germany and France,” says Ms. Vincent.  He played with BB King, graced the stage at Antone’s too many times to count, and was inducted into the Austin Music Awards Hall of Fame in 2008.

Mr. Hargrove kept playing his music well into his 80’s.  But recently, heart issues and early onset dementia rendered him unable to perform.  His condition deteriorated to the point that he moved in with Ms. Vincent, a longtime fraud investigator with the Texas Workforce Commission.  She contacted Meals on Wheels Central Texas to see if we could provide hot, nutritious lunchtime meals for her father while she was at work.  We’ve been delivering food to Mr. Hargrove ever since - which provides his daughter with peace of mind. “I know he will have a hot meal for lunch and then he also gets the fruits and milk he needs for his health,” she says.

Ms. Vincent says she knows she can rely on MOWCTX to help her care for her dad…a man who spent a lifetime singing the blues but brought so much joy to others through his music: “It means a lot to me. He has put a lot of happiness in a lot of people, people love music and music is just in him.”