Florida Folklife Program
Folk Heritage Awards Recipient: David "Rock Bottom" C. York
David "Rock Bottom" C. York
David "Rock Bottom" C. York (1948 - 2001) - 2002 Florida Folk Heritage Award
Known as Rock Bottom, David C. York (St. Petersburg) was a highly respected blues vocalist, harmonica player, and songwriter. Originally from Brookville, Indiana, David York moved to the Tampa area in 1965 as a high school student. York became interested in blues by listening to recordings of Sonny Boy Williamson, Paul Butterfield, and other musicians, and by attending performances at local blues clubs.
By the 1970s, York was playing with various bands under the name “Rock Bottom.” He worked as a blues musician in clubs throughout Florida and the nation, and performed with such Florida notables as “Diamond Teeth” Mary McClain and Blind Willie James. He also passed along his skills and knowledge in blues harp to dozens of young harmonic players. Rock Bottom recorded twelve albums and CDs, and received favorable reviews from Living Blues magazine. He frequently played in Europe and was a major contributor to the blues scene in Norway.