Happy birthday Buddy Guy!
Buddy Guy (born July 30, 1936) is an American blues musician. He is a pioneer of the Chicago blues sound, starting his career serving mostly as a session artist for Chess Records. He has worked with Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf, and many other artists. As one of the first to fuse blues with rock and roll through the use of extended lead guitar solos and distortion, he has been a major influence on artists such as of Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix.
Guy was born in Lettsworth, Louisiana to Sam and Isabel Guy. When he was just 7 years old, he began to take an interest in music and built his own two-string "guitar." By the time he was 19, he had gotten a real guitar. He worked as a custodian at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge during the day and and played clubs around town at night.
On September 25, 1957, at the suggestion of a friend, Guy took a train to Chicago. Despite the fact that his friend was suggesting he try to get into the music business, Guy was hoping just to make more money as a custodian at the University of Chicago.
Soon after arriving in Chicago though, Guy met a man named Otis Rush, who took him to the 708 Club. There, he met his idol Muddy Waters, who was impressed by his musical abilities and invited him to collaborate later on.
Guy first recorded with Cobra Records. After performing more at the 708 Club, he was discovered by composer Willie Dixon who got Guy a contract with Chess Records. During his first few years with Chess, they refused to record Guy and mainly used him as a session guitarist to back Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Koko Taylor. The head of Chess records denounced Guy's music as "noise," and tried recording him as an R&B, jazz, and soul artist. His only album with Chess came out in 1967, called Left My Blues in San Francisco.
Not long after his Chess release, he moved to Vanguard Records in search of more creative control. He released A Man and the Blues (1968). Some of his most notable songs under Vanguard included "Hoodoo Man Blues" and "Messin' With the Kid."
From the 1960s through the 1980s, Guy became a steady influence on many of rock and roll's most popular artists including Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and Jeff Beck. One of his most notable albums is Buddy Guy & Junior Wells Play The Blues (1970), featuring Guy playing with his long-time musical partner, Junior Wells, on harmonica and vocals.
Guy is credited with being one of the first to fuse blues with rock and roll. He was a pioneer of using distortion, making his sound more aggressive than most others of his time.
Guy has won a total of six Grammys. In 2003, he won the National Medal of the Arts. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.
- Birthday Date: Wednesday, 30 July 2014