Memphis Slim: 9/3/1915
John Len Chatman was pivotal blues composer, singer, and piano player. He is better known by his stage name Memphis Slim, influenced from his birthplace in Memphis, Tennessee. This name was given to him by producer Lester Melrose of Bluebird records where Slim became a regular session musician. He became a prominent name in the blues community, especially in the jump blues realm and had over 500 recordings over the course of his career. He also wrote and performed “Every Day I Have The Blues.” The 1947 song “became a blues standard and was recorded by many other artists.” Slim passed away in 1988 at 72 years old while in Paris, France.
Danny Gatton: 9/4/1945
A multi-faceted guitarist who could fit into many different music styles and was vastly underrated. Born in Washington DC, Danny Gatton began playing guitar at the young age of nine and was influenced by his father who played rhythm guitar in a local band. Gatton uniquely “fused blues, rockabilly, jazz, and country to create a style called ‘redneck jazz.’” He also utilized a picking style associated with the banjo that allowed him to get his signature tone. Gatton is still cited as an inspiration for many musicians and was even selected at the 27th best guitar player of all time by Gibson.com. Gatton is known as “The Telemaster” and “the World’s greatest unknown guitarist.”
George Miles, Jr. AKA Buddy Miles: 9/5/1947
When your credential list includes Carlos Santana, Mike Bloomfield, John McLaughlin, and Jimi Hendrix, you must be pretty good. Buddy Miles was one of the funkiest drummers of the 1960’s and 70’s. Of course, one of his biggest claims to fame was when he was a member of Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys. Miles continues to be a reference for solid and groovy drum work and is a legend of funk and rock music.
Mathis James Reed AKA Jimmy Reed: 9/6/1926
Pioneering electric blues musician and guitarist whose work throughout the 50’s and 60’s not only greatly influenced blues music of the time, but had a tremendous effect on the blossoming genre of rock & roll. His steady release of R&B chart-toppers brought about the likes of “Big Boss Man”, “Bright Lights, Big City”, “Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby”, and “Baby What You Want Me To Do”. Those classics were devoured and regurgitated by everyone from Elvis Presley to the Rolling Stones and everyone in-between. He not only impacted many fans but inspired a large number of musicians. A few of these include Elvis, Clapton, Billy Gibbons, Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Rolling Stones, and many more! He was also “posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame in 1980 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.”
Little Milton: 9/7/1934
James Milton Campbell was born in the Mississippi Delta by a farmer and blues musician. By the time he was twelve he was already performing on the streets, playing the music by his primary influence T-Bone Walker. He caught the attention of Ike Turner who was able to get him a deal with the popular label, Sun Records. After some of his albums began to wane, he decided to try his talents as a producer and worked with Albert King and Fontella Bass and helped to jump start their careers.
Milton passed away in 2005 at the age of 70 due to a stroke.
Otis Redding: 9/9/1941
“The Big O,” “The Man From Macron,” “Rockhouse Redding,” and “The King Of Soul.” It’s hard to imagine that someone who lived only until he was 26 could warrant so many nicknames. Otis Redding was one of the most popular soul and RnB singers in the 60’s and his still “considered one of the greatest singers in the history of popular music. He wrote and recorded one of the most famous songs in history “Sittin’ On The Dock of The Bay” shorty before a fatal plane crash in 1967. Redding’s influence spans several generations and genres and will always have a place in our hearts!