CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago bluesman Jimmy “Fast Fingers” Dawkins, known for his stellar guitar playing and mellow singing voice, has died. He was 76.
Delmark Records owner Bob Koester said Friday that Dawkins died Wednesday. The cause of death wasn’t immediately known.
James Henry Dawkins was born in Tchula, Miss. An only child, Dawkins taught himself to play guitar before moving to Chicago in the 1950s.
Koester said Dawkins did not begin his music career immediately, working instead in a box factory before taking to Chicago’s streets to play for tips. He formed a band in the 1960s and began working Chicago’s blues clubs, gaining a reputation as an excellent side man and playing with such notables as Otis Rush and Buddy Guy.
Dawkins first album, “Fast Fingers,” released on the Delmark label in 1969, boosted Dawkins’ reputation, particularly in Europe and Japan, where he toured frequently.
“He didn’t like his nickname,” Koester said. “It gave the impression that he played only upbeat music.”
Dawkins performed a style of music known as the West Side Chicago blues — a mellower sound that reflected his Mississippi roots, instead of the harder-edged sounds of the city’s South Side.
“His voice was feathery, soft,” Koester said. “He wasn’t a shouter, which is unusual in blues.” He noted blues singers had to shout to be heard in the early days because they didn’t have amplifiers, and the affectation continues.
In addition to performing, Dawkins was a frequent contributor to Living Blues magazine.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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