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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

You Better Be Sure - Lacy Gibson

Lacy Gibson (May 1, 1936 – April 11, 2011) was an American Chicago blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He most notably recorded the songs, "My Love Is Real" and "Switchy Titchy", and in a long and varied career worked with Buddy Guy and Son Seals.

One commentator noted that Gibson "developed a large and varied repertoire after long stays with numerous bands, many recording sessions, and performances in Chicago nightclubs"
Gibson was born in Salisbury, North Carolina, United States, but relocated with his family to Chicago, Illinois, in 1949. Initially, he was taught guitar playing by his mother.

His early influences included Sunnyland Slim, Muddy Waters, Lefty Bates, Matt Murphy, and Wayne Bennett. Gibson's earliest work was as a session musician, playing mainly rhythm guitar. In 1963 alone, he recorded backing for Willie Mabon, Billy "The Kid" Emerson and Buddy Guy.

Gibson's own recording debut was also in 1963 with Chess Records, who recorded his song "My Love Is Real", with Buddy Guy on guitar. The track remained unreleased at that time, and when it was finally issued, initial pressings credited the work to Guy. Two self-released singles followed, before Gibson recorded his debut album, Wishing Ring in 1971. It was released on El Saturn Records, which was partly owned by Gibson's then brother-in-law, Sun Ra. The family connection continued when Ra recorded Gibson's co-written song, "I'm Gonna Unmask the Batman".

In 1977, Ralph Bass produced another Gibson album, although this was not released until Delmark Records did the honors in 1996. His following work with Son Seals was heard on Seal's 1978 Live and Burning album. Alligator Records then included four tracks by Gibson on their 1980 Living Chicago Blues, Vol. 3 compilation album.

Gibson released Switchy Titchy in 1982 on the Netherlands-based Black Magic Records label. His appearances after the release were reduced due to health problems, but he performed locally around Chicago, both on his own or backing Billy Boy Arnold and Big Time Sarah. Despite the reduction in his engagements, Gibson played at the Chicago Blues Festival in 2004. Gibson also operated the Chicago after-hours nightclub "Ann's Love Nest" with his wife, for whom it was named.

Gibson died of a heart attack in Chicago in April 2011, aged 74.
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