Boyd Rivers was born December 25, 1934 in Madison County, Mississippi.
He was brought up in the church by his mother and was influenced by regional musicians such as Clyde Maxwell and his uncle, the gospel legend, Reverend Cleophus Robinson.
Rivers started out on two nails and a wire on awall, and played blues guitar as early as 13, but switched into sprituals around the age of 16.
When he was 29 he married Ruth May who was a non professional singer from the local gospel choir.
He moved to Canton, Mississippi where in 1978 was filmed by Alan Lomax, John Bishop and Worth Long in a stunning performance. He played :
"You Got To Take Sick And Die"
"Come Out The Wilderness"
"Fire In My Bones"
"Wrapped Up, Tied Up, Tangled Up"
"Heard The Angels Singing"
"Soon One Morning"
"I Done Die Time One Time (Ain't Gone Die No More)"
Axel Kunster and Siegfried Christmann recorded Rivers recorded later Rivers in the same year for the L&R records series "living country blues" and he appears on "Living Country Blues vol. 11".
Alan Thomposn dedicated in his book "Woke Up This Morning" a chapter tohim.
Boyd Rivers died in Jackson, Mississippi on Novenmber 22, 1993.
Here is a CRAZY version of "You Got To Take Sick And Die" live from the 1979 Mississippi Delta Blues Festival.