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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Friday, July 29, 2011

Tribute to Elmore - Sunnyland Slim & Eddie Taylor


Eddie Taylor (January 29, 1923 – December 25, 1985) was an American blues guitarist and singer.
Born Edward Taylor in Benoit, Mississippi, as a boy Taylor taught himself to play the guitar. He spent his early years playing at venues around Leland, Mississippi, where he taught his friend Jimmy Reed to play guitar. With a guitar style deeply rooted in the Mississippi Delta tradition, in 1949 Taylor moved to Chicago.

While Taylor never achieved the stardom of some of his compatriots in the Chicago Blues scene, he nevertheless was an integral part of that era and is especially noted as a main accompanist for Jimmy Reed as well as working with John Lee Hooker, Big Walter Horton and others. Taylor's own records "Big Town Playboy" and "Bad Boy" on Vee Jay Records became local hits in the 1950s.

Taylor's son Eddie Taylor Jr. is a blues guitarist in Chicago, his stepson Larry Taylor is a blues drummer and vocalist, and his daughter Demetria is a blues vocalist in Chicago. . Taylor's wife Vera was the niece of bluesmen Eddie "Guitar" Burns and Jimmy Burns.

Taylor died on Christmas Day in 1985 in Chicago, at age 62, and was interred in an unmarked grave in the Restvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois. He was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1987.

Albert "Sunnyland Slim" Luandrew (September 5, 1907 – March 17, 1995) was an American blues pianist, who was born in the Mississippi Delta and later moved to Chicago, to contribute to that city's post-war scene as a center for blues music.[2] Chicago's broadcaster and writer, Studs Terkel, said Sunnyland Slim was "a living piece of our folk history, gallantly and eloquently carrying on in the old tradition."
Sunnyland Slim was born in 1906 on a farm in Quitman County, near Vance, Mississippi (some sources erroneously give this date as 1907). He moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1925, where he performed with many of the popular blues musicians of the day. His stage name came from a song he composed about the Sunnyland train that ran between Memphis and St. Louis, Missouri. In 1942 he followed the great migration of southern workers to the industrial north in Chicago.

At that time the electric blues was taking shape there, and through the years Sunnyland Slim played with such musicians as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Robert Lockwood, Jr., and Little Walter. His piano style is characterised by heavy basses or vamping chords in the left hand and tremolos with his right. His voice was loud and he sang in a declamatory style.

Sunnyland Slim's first recording was as a singer with Jump Jackson's band on the Specialty label in September 1946. His first recordings as a leader were on the Hy-Tone and Aristocrat labels in late 1947. Slim continued performing until his death in 1995.

He had released one record on RCA Victor using the moniker 'Dr. Clayton's Buddy': "Illinois Central" b/w "Sweet Lucy Blues" (Victor 20-2733).

In 1988 he was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship.

Sunnyland Slim died in March 1995 in Chicago, after complications from renal failure, at the age of 88.

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