Mississippi John never pursued success. In 1928 a mobile unit of the Vocalion company came to Avalon, Mississippi to look for new talents. An audition in Avalon resulted in John being called several months later to go to New York for a recording session under the direction of Lonnie Johnson. The depression led to the reduction in pressing of records and John stayed in Avalon and lived quietly on his farm with his 14 children.
Guided by the words of one of the titles recorded in 1928 by Hurt, "Avalon My Home Town", the folklorist Tom Hoskins decided in 1963 to go to Avalon. He met Hurt, who was shocked to see that someone remembered his 1928 recordings that had brought him only twenty dollars a song.
John Hurt's new career lasted only three years, but at Newport Festival, on college campuses, and in the folk clubs of Washington D.C., he displayed his talents as storyteller, entertainer, and singer. He overwhelmed the public with his outstanding mastery of the guitar.(Source: Encyclopedia of the Blues by Gerard Herzhaft, 1992 University of Arkansas Press)