“…you will like Magic Sam regardless of your previous tastes if you are reasonably ‘aware,’ ‘hip,’ turned on ‘ or whatever your generation’s slang may be for being in touch with humanity and life.”
– Bill Lindeman –
Blues Guitar of Magic Sam
Magic Sam was a young talented guitar player. Like many other legends Sam born in Mississippi, moved to Chicago to play among greats like Mighty Joe Young , Koko Taylor and Buddy Guy, enough reasons to listen to this songwriter who combined flashy guitar riffs in combination with Rhythm ‘n Blues from Chicago.
Sweet Home Chicago
His guitar style, vocals, and songwriting ability have inspired and influenced many blues musicians ever since. In the movie The Blues Brothers, Jake Blues dedicates the band’s performance of “Sweet Home Chicago” to the “late, great Magic Sam”.
Magic Sam Blues Name
Magic Sam was named by his bassplayer, and friend Mack Thompson during the first recording session for Cobra Records. Good Rockin´Sam was already in use by another artist.
Breakthrough Magic Sam and Death
Sam’s breakthrough performance was at the Ann Arbor Blues Festival in 1969, which won him many bookings in the U.S. and Europe. His life and career was cut short when he suddenly died of a heart attack in December 1969. He was 32 years old. Sam is buried in the Restvale Cemetery.
Many Blues Musicians from the Chicago Bluesscene are buried in Restvale Cemetary.
For those interested:
- John Henry Barbee (1905–1964), blues singer, guitarist
- David Barksdale (1947–1974), leader of the Black Disciples street gang
- Nathaniel “Sweetwater” Clifton (1926–1990), professional basketball player
- Jazz Gillum (1904–1966), blues harmonica player
- Earl Hooker (1929–1970), blues guitarist
- Big Walter “Shakey” Horton (1918–1981), blues harmonica player
- Samuel “Magic Sam” Maghett (1936–1969), blues musician
- Charles “Papa Charlie” McCoy (1909–1950), blues musician
- Kansas Joe McCoy (1905–1950), blues musician
- Joseph E. Nathaniel (1919–1993), blues pianist, blues singer
- James Burke “St. Louis Jimmy” Oden (1903–1977), blues musician, composer
- Eddie Taylor (1923–1985), blues guitarist, songwriter
- Theodore Roosevelt “Hound Dog” Taylor (1915–1975), blues musician
- Luther Tucker (1936–1993)
- Muddy Waters (1913–1983), blues musician
- Valerie Wellington (1959–1993), actress, opera singer, blues singer