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Blues Guitarist Johnny Copeland Dead At Age 60

July 9, 1997 12:00 AM ET

Grammy-award-winning blues guitarist Johnny Copeland died July 3 due to complications from his eighth open-heart surgery. During his lengthy career, Copeland, nicknamed the "Texas Twister," had the honor to play with such music greats as Otis Redding and Big Mama Thornton, but it was his collaboration on the 1985 album Showdown! with Albert Collins and Robert Cray that earned him the Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Recording. Copeland also received four W.C. Handy Awards in his lifetime.

At the end of 1996, Copeland received a much-needed heart transplant, and following his recovery he returned to the stage to do what he did best - play the blues. Copeland was 60 years old.

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