Personalities | Guitar Slim | Fifties | Jazz & Blues

(Guitar, vocals, 1925–59)

Eddie Lee Jones was born in Greenwood, Mississippi. He sang in church as a child but had relocated to New Orleans by the age of 17, where he worked with Huey ‘Piano’ Smith in a small group until 1953. His recording debut was on Imperial in 1951, but his most important recordings were for Specialty during 1954–55 and Atlantic in 1956–58. Guitar Slim had only one hit, but it was an R&B number one: ‘Things That I Used To Do’, arranged by the pianist on the session, Ray Charles.

Slim was a flamboyant performer, noted for the wild colours of his suits and hair. He was famous for his ‘walks’: using a lengthy extension cord he would parade around a room or even out into the street, playing his guitar all the while as the sound continued to come out of his amplifier on stage.

Styles & Forms | Fifties | Jazz & Blues
Personalities | Eddie Harris | Fifties | Jazz & Blues

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel


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