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Posts Tagged ‘Muddy Waters’

Died On This Date (May 13, 2012) Donald “Duck” Dunn / Booker T. & The MG’s

Posted by themusicsover on May 13, 2012

Donald “Duck” Dunn
November 24, 1941 – May 13, 2012

As the house bassist for Stax Records throughout the ’60s and ’70s, Donald “Duck” Dunn provided the unmistakable bottom-end for countless soul and R&B songs that have stood the test of time. He can also be heard on some of the greatest rock recordings from the ’70s and ’80s.  From Otis Redding’s “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” Sam & Dave’s “Hold On I’m Coming,” and Albert King’s “Born Under A Bad Sign” to Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks’ “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,”  Dunn’s groove can not be missed.  And in between, there was Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, and Rod Stewart, to name a few.  And as bassist for Booker T. & the MG’s, Dunn made his mark on such iconic songs as “Green Onions.”  In 1980, Dunn played himself alongside John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as part of the Blues Brothers band both in the movie, and at live performances.  Although semi-retired by 2000, Dunn continued to play at occasional Booker T. gigs and other events well into the new decade.  Donald “Duck” Dunn died in his sleep following a performance in Tokyo, Japan on May 12, 2012.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

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Briefcase Full of Blues - The Blues Brothers

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Died On This Date (January 8, 2012) Dave Anderson aka Omar Sharriff / Boogie Woogie Blues Pianist & Singer

Posted by themusicsover on January 8, 2012

Omar Sharriff (Born Dave Alexander)
March 10, 1938 – January 8, 2012

Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Dave Alexander became one of the world’s premier players of Texas boogie woogie piano.  A self-taught pianist, Alexander began performing at his local church at a very young age.  After serving in the US Navy, he settled in San Francisco where he played with the likes of Big Mama Thornton, Muddy Waters, and Jimmy Witherspoon.  In 1968, Anderson began making his own records, including the critically acclaimed The Rattler and The Raven.  He quickly became a popular draw at the biggest blues festivals around the United States and beyond.  On Thanksgiving Day, 1974, Anderson was the opening at the Band’s historic Last Waltz concert in San Francisco.  That same year, he changed his name to Omar Khayam so began performing as Omar Sharriff or Omar the Magnificent.  He released his last album (as Omar Sharriff) in 2000, but continued to perform well throughout the decade.   On January 8, 2012, Dave Anderson reportedly shot and killed himself in his home.  He was 73.

Thanks to Henk de Bruin at 2+ Printing for the assist.


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Died On This Date (December 4, 2011) Hubert Sumlin / Chicago Blues Legend

Posted by themusicsover on December 4, 2011

Hubert Sumlin
November 16, 1931 – December 4, 2011

Hubert Sumlin was a Chicago Blues electric guitarist and singer who is most often remembered for his time playing with Howlin’ Wolf during the 1960s.  Decades later, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at #43 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time. Raised in Arkansas, Sumlin was just six when he began playing to guitar, and he was still just a youngster when he first met Wolf after sneaking into one of his shows.  Years later, Wolf, who had by then settled in Chicago, invited Sumlin to move up and join him in his band.  By 1955, Sumlin was the lead guitarist of the group, and would stay as such for the rest of Wolf’s career.  Sumlin can be heard on Wolf’s landmark album, Howlin’ Wolf, which is considered one of the greatest blues albums of all times.  He also played with Muddy Waters for a brief time.   Sumlin released several of his own albums between 1964 and 2004 when he had to give up recording after having one of his lungs removed.  He did, however, continue to perform up into his final years.   In 2008, Sumlin was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame, and over the years he received four Grammy nominations.  Hubert Sumlin died of heart failure on December 4, 2011.  He was 80.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus for the assist.

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I Know You - Hubert Sumlin

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Died On This Date (September 16, 2011) Willie “Big Eyes” Smith / Grammy Winning Electric Blues Great

Posted by themusicsover on September 16, 2011

Willie “Big Eyes” Smith
January 19, 1936 – September 16, 2011

Photo by Michael Kurgansky

Willie “Big Eyes” Smith was an influential electric blues triple threat.  Not only was he revered for his singing and harmonica playing, but he was also an award-winning drummer.  Born in Helena, Arkansas, Smith moved to Chicago when he was 17 and initially took up the harmonica.  Inspired by the likes of harpists Sonny Boy Williamson II and Henry Strong, Smith formed his own trio within a year of landing in Chicago.  It was also around this time that he played on Bo Diddley’s recording of “Diddy Wah Diddy.”  Smith soon realized that harmonica players were basically a dime a dozen in Chicago, so he switched to drums and was shortly thereafter hired by Muddy Waters.  He went on to play with Waters on and off for the next two decades, only taking a break during the mid ’60s to earn more consistent money as a cab driver.  Between 1960 and 1980, Smith played on over 80 of Waters’ recordings, many of which ending up on Grammy-winning albums.  In 1980, Smith and other members of Waters’ band splintered off to form the Legendary Blues Band who some may recognize as the band behind John Lee Hooker in the 1980 motion picture, The Blues Brothers, starring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi.  The Legendary Blues Band recorded seven albums and toured with the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan during their run.  It wasn’t until 1995 that Smith began making his own albums.  He continued to record and perform as recently as 2010 when he and former Legendary Blues Band mate and Muddy Waters refugee, Pinetop Perkins released Joined At The Hip for Telarc Records.  The album earned the pair a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album on February 13, 2011.  Perkins passed away a little over a month later.  According to The Celebrity Cafe, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith passed away on September 16, 2011 following a stroke.  He was 75.

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Joined At the Hip: Pinetop Perkins & Willie

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Died On This Date (April 11, 2011) Lacy Gibson / Respected Chicago Blues Guitarist

Posted by themusicsover on April 11, 2011

Lacy Gibson
May 1, 1936 – April 11, 2011

Lacy Gibson was a gifted Chicago blues guitarist who over a career that spanned six decades came to be known as a musician’s musician thanks in part to his flashy jazz-influenced guitar skills.  He was also revered for his soulful voice. After moving to Chicago from North Carolina in 1949, Gibson immediately immersed himself in the city’s storied blues scene, learning directly from the likes of Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon.  During the ’60s, he became a popular session player for the local labels, including Chess, where he actually sang on at least one recording by Buddy Guy.  Over the course of his career, Gibson recorded or performed with the likes of Sun Ra (his brother-in-law), Jimmy Reed, Son Seals, and Otis Rush.  He released three of his own albums between 1971 and 1996, and continued to be a mainstay on local stages until his ill health kept him away in recent years.  Lacy Gibson died of a heart attack on April 11, 2011.  He was 74.

Thanks to Joel Oberstein at New Releases Now! for the assist.

 

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