Monday, August 29, 2011

Chicago bluesman 'Honeyboy' Edwards dead at 96 - Chicago Tribune

David "Honeyboy" Edwards, a bluesman who was a living, breathing link to blues legend Robert Johnson, died early Monday morning of congestive heart failure while resting at home, according to the performer's official website. He was 96.

Born in 1915, Edwards left home when he was 14 years old, to perform with Big Joe Williams. It was a life on the road that the classic Delta blues player continued right up to April of this year, when his health took a turn for the worse. His last live outings were in Mississippi, on April 16 and 17.

The list of musicians that Edwards played with is immense, also serving as a Who's Who of great blues artists. Edwards has worked with Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, Big Joe Williams, Rice “Sonny Boy Williamson” Miller, Howlin’ Wolf, Sunnyland Slim, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Big Walter, Little Walter, Magic Sam, Muddy Waters. Edwards’ career included several hit songs, such as “Long Tall Woman Blues,” “Gamblin Man” and “Just Like Jesse James.” He has won two Grammy awards, in 2008 for best traditional blues album, and a 2010 lifetime achievement award. Edwards’ biography, “The World Don’t Owe Me Nothing,” first published in 1997, described his life of almost constant motion and performing.

He moved to Chicago in the early 1950s, and became a fixture on the city’s blues scene, including gigs at the Chicago Blues Festival andMillennium Park.

Public visitation will be from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, including an open mic for comments by his friends and fans (7-8 p.m.), at McCullough Funeral & Cremation Services, 851 E. 75th St. Services will be private.

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