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Buddy Guy poster

Buddy Guy

George "Buddy" Guy (born July 30, 1936) is a five-time Grammy Award-winning American blues and rock guitarist and singer. Known as an inspiration to Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and other 1960s blues and rock legends, Guy is considered an important exponent of Chicago blues. He is the father of female rapper Shawnna and son Michael.Guy is known for his showmanship: for example, he plays his guitar with drumsticks, or strolls into the audience while jamming and trailing a long guitar cord.Born in Lettsworth, Louisiana, Guy grew up in Louisiana learning guitar on a two string diddley bow he made. Later he was given a Harmony acoustic guitar, which he later donated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the early '50s he began performing with bands in Baton Rouge. Soon after moving to Chicago in 1957, Guy fell under the influence of Muddy Waters. In 1958, a competition with West Side guitarists Magic Sam and Otis Rush gave Guy a record contract. Soon afterwards he recorded for Cobra Records. He recorded sessions with Junior Wells for Delmark Records under the pseudonym Friendly Chap in 1965 and 1966.Guy�s early career was supposedly held back by both conservative business choices made by his record company (Chess Records) and "the scorn, diminishments and petty subterfuge from a few jealous rivals". Chess, Guy�s record label from 1959 to 1968, refused to record Buddy Guy�s novel style that was similar to his live shows. Leonard Chess (Chess founder and 1987 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee) denounced Guy�s playing as "motherfucking noise". In the early 1960s, Chess tried recording Guy as a solo artist with R&B ballads, jazz instrumentals, soul and novelty dance tunes, but none were released as singles. Guy�s only Chess album, "Left My Blues in San Francisco", was finally issued in 1967. Most of the songs belong stylistically to the era's soul boom, with orchestrations by Gene Barge and Charlie Stepney. Chess used Guy mainly as a session guitarist to back Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Koko Taylor and others.Guy's reputation spread to Great Britain with the American Folk Blues Festival in the 1960s, where young rockers like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and the Rolling Stones were seeking out the roots of American blues. His first trip to the UK was in February 1965, during which Rod Stewart acted as his valet and Guy shared a bill with the Yardbirds. Guy�s tour exposed his music to a whole new generation of British musicians eager to soak it up. He was surprised to see how influential his music had become to English guitarists.

Appearances