Blues legend George “Buddy” Guy (1936-) was born on this day to sharecroppers in Lettsworth, Louisiana, a small town on the bank of the Atchafalaya River. He grew up imitating the music of T-Bone Walker and Guitar Slim Jones on his makeshift two-string diddley bow.
"Music makes people happy," he once said. "That's why I go on doing it. I like to see everybody smile."
Guy played Baton Rouge clubs, then moved to Chicago in 1957 where he hooked up with Muddy Waters and B. B. King. He recorded the hit Stone Crazy (1961) and refined his high-energy prowess as an emotional singer, songwriter, and guitarist.
"I was so in love with the guitar that I didn't have sense enough not to keep plucking away at it," he said. "and whatever I played, I knew it would be me."
A trailblazer in the use of amplifier feedback and distortion--his way of saying "I'm here and you're gonna hear me--," Guy plucked strings with his teeth and played behind his head. Fusing blues and rock, his passionate style inspired Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton.
“If you don’t think you have the blues, just keep living,” Guy said.
His nightclub and quasi-museum Buddy Guy's Legends continues to celebrate the Windy city Blues. “I’ve dedicated my life to the music,” he said. “I went to sleep yesterday as a little young one who had just come to Chicago, and now I’m a senior citizen, so I’m just trying to keep it alive.”
It's all about the Heart and Mind and Soul.
Buddy Guy,Skin Deep