Blind Tom and his drunken manager

Blind Tom relentlessly toured the United State and Canada between 1860 to 1890, making a fortunes for his guardians and managers.  A review in the Wichita Eagle from May 1878 offers a rare insight into a concert where many things didn't go to plan, beginning with Tom's whiskey- sozzled manager, who kept the audience waiting for over an hour. When he finally stumbled onto stage,  he was "so drunk as to render the his attempted explanation mere incoherent mutterings".

The article also highlights Tom's enormous popularity with black audiences. 333 tickets were sold in the white only stalls while and another 300 black people jammed into to the balcony and gallery. A "wonderful prodigy" and star trouper, Tom performance was "simply marvelous".

"With one single faculty of the mind so highly perfected and splendidly attuned, to what heights may not the perfected and ever-living soul of eternity attain" summed up the reviewer