.

Blues Guitarist Magic Slim Dead at 75

Singer was younger peer of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf

Magic Slim at the 25th annual Chicago Blues Festival in Chicago, Illinois.
Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
February 22, 2013 8:25 AM ET

Blues guitarist Magic Slim died yesterday in a Philadelphia hospital, The Associated Press reports. He was 75, and had been dealing with worsening health problems, his manager said.

Slim, born Morris Holt in Mississippi, helped define the sound of post-war electric blues in Chicago as a younger peer of icons like Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. Slim's first instrument was piano, but after he lost the little finger on his right hand in a cotton-gin accident, he switched to guitar, and also played bass with his mentor, the guitarist Magic Sam. Slim moved to Chicago in 1955, but found it so difficult to land gigs on a competitive South Side blues scene that he soon returned home.

2012 in Memoriam: Musicians We Lost

Back in Mississippi, he developed his talent playing small gigs like plantation parties, with brothers Nick and Douglas as his backing band, the Teardrops. They returned to Chicago by the mid-Sixties, this time for good, and began a recording career in 1966 with the song "Scufflin'," the first in a series of singles that led eventually to his first album, Born Under a Bad Sign, in 1977. His latest, the covers album Bad Boy, came out last year. 

Though he's most closely identified with Chicago, Slim had lived in Lincoln, Nebraska, for nearly 20 years. His manager, Marty Salzman, said bleeding ulcers sent Slim to the hospital, though he also suffered from heart, lung and kidney ailments.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com