Jesse Fuller, was sent by his mother to live with foster parents where he was badly mistreated. At the age of 9 he showed his first musical interest when he constructed himself a mouth bow. Later, he even built his own crude guitar and started learning to play songs from various musicians. After working at various locations in a variety of jobs, Jesse realized he could make money by playing guitar on street corners.
After playing small parts in several movies, a hotdog stand and several other jobs and his musical activity gradually increasing, in 1940s he was found by the Jazz and folk artists. By 1950s, Jesse had begun to play steadily at a small club in San Francisco. During those years Fuller also devised a new kind of instrument he called a “fotdella”. With his close friend Barbara’s help, Jesse’s career began to blossom in the late 1950s. Jesse introduced and sung “Monkey and the Engineer” on February 14, 1970.
Jesse Fuller died in 1976 in Oakland. He was truly unique artist. Despite a life of poverty and hardship, he was able to maintain a sense of dignity and humor in his music. His songs brought a message of hope and inspiration to several generations of folk music fans. It is comforting to know that his wit and humor has not been forgotten and that his songs will live on.