Among the great lineage of Blues guitarists, few wield the level of influence of Buddy Guy. The Louisiana native was born July 30, 1936.
George Guy was born to sharecropper parents in the town of Lettsworth, first learning to play the guitar via a homemade two-string diddley bow before getting a Harmony acoustic guitar. Guy moved to Chicago, the city he’s most associated with, and embarked upon a professional recording career with Chess Records. While fame as a soloist was elusive, the time on the label was fruitful as Guy became a session player for some of his idols – Muddy Watters, Howlin’ Wolf, KoKo Taylor and other Blues legends.
In the ‘70s, Buddy Guy and fellow Blues man Junior Wells forged a musical partnership that led to the pair releasing their celebrated 1972 album, “Buddy Guy and Junior Wells Play The Blues.” Serving as a producer on that album, Eric Clapton began to figure prominently in Guy’s late career success in the ‘80s and early ‘90s.
Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Gary Clark Jr. and many other legendary guitarists cite Guy as an influence. Clapton featured Guy on 1991 his live album “24 Nights” which paired Guy with Wells, Ray Charles, and others.
Clapton and another of his contemporaries, B.B. King inducted Guy into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. Guy is still touring at 83 years young, performing over 100 dates per year. The eight-time Grammy Award winner has 33 albums, 15 live albums and 34 singles in his discography. His 2018 album “The Blues Is Alive And Well” won Best Traditional Blues Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards earlier this year.
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