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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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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sam Lay Blues Band

Sam Lay (born March 20, 1935, Birmingham, Alabama, United States) is an American drummer and vocalist, who has been performing since the late 1950s.
Lay began his career in 1957, as the drummer for the Original Thunderbirds, and soon after became the drummer for the harmonica player Little Walter.

In the early 1960s, Lay began recording and performing with prominent blues musicians such as Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf, Eddie Taylor, John Lee Hooker, Jr. Wells, Bo Diddley, Magic Sam, Jimmy Rogers, Earl Hooker, and Muddy Waters. The recordings Lay made during this time, along with Waters' Fathers and Sons album recorded in 1969, are considered to be among the definitive works from the careers of Waters and Wolf.[citation needed]

In the mid 1960s, Lay joined the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and recorded and toured extensively with them. Bob Dylan, with Lay as his drummer, was the first performer to introduce electric-rock at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. Lay also recorded with Dylan, most notably on the Highway 61 Revisited album.

Lay's drumming can be heard on over 40 recordings for the Chess Records label, with many notable blues performers. He has toured the major blues festivals around the US and Europe with the Chess Records All-Stars.

In the late 1980's Sam Lay was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis. He was recently inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame in Los Angeles, and the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. He was nominated eight times for the coveted W. C. Handy Award for "Best Instrumentalist" including a recent 2005 nomination.

Lay has two recent recordings with his own band on Appaloosa Records and Evidence Records, and two recordings on Alligator Records with the Siegel-Schwall Band.His own 1969 release on Blue Thumb Records, Sam Lay in Bluesland, was produced by Michael Bloomfield and Nick Gravenites. He was nominated in 2000 for a Grammy Award for his performances on the Howlin' Wolf Tribute CD, and was honored by the Recording Academy in January 2002 with a Legends and Heroes Award for his significant musical contributions. He was prominently featured on a PBS-TV broadcast of seven episodes on the History of the Blues, produced by Academy Award winning director Martin Scorsese.

Lay also shot many home movies of fellow blues performers in small Chicago venues of the late 1950s and 1960s. These home movies were seen in the PBS special History of the Blues.
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