Thursday, August 19, 2010
Jango Song Of The Day-Magic Sam
Song:All Your Love:
Album:An Introduction To Magic Sam
Magic Sam is one of the pioneers of the Westside sound of Chicago Blues and one of the greats of blues guitar. He had been on small record labels that kept going out of business and just as things were looking up he died of a heart attack at age 32. But he is certainly not forgotten by blues musicians and fans. He was born Samuel Gene Maghett Feb. 14, 1937 in Grenada, MS and learned to play guitar listening to Muddy Waters. He moved to Chicago in 1950 and performed in westside Chicago clubs as Good Rockin' Sam. Syl Johnson's brother Mack Thompson was Sam's bassist. He signed with Cobra Records in 1957 which was also the home of Otis Rush and Buddy Guy. Cobra owner Eli Toscano wanted Sam to change his name and Magic Sam is a variation of his real name. All Your Love was his first single and though the music at Cobra was successful, they closed when Toscano died in 1959. Sam went into the Army but didn't like it and was dishonourably discharged. When he returned to Chicago, instead of signing with Chess like some of his friends, he signed with Chief Records. Earl Hooker was producer but again the label had financial problems and closed in 1964. After recording a couple of singles for Crash Records, he signed with Delmark Records in 1967. He recorded two albums that were highly acclaimed and got a lot of attention for his performance at the 1969 Ann Arbor Blues Festival. Delmark was a much more stable company. They're still around today. So it looked like Magic Sam was finally getting his due when he died of a heart attack on Dec. 1, 1969 at age 32. He was inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame in 1982. This CD from Fuel 2000 contains his Cobra & Chief singles but his Delmark albums are also recommended. Here's Magic Sam performing All Your Love & Sam's Boogie at the American Folk Blues Festival 1964. And yes, he's using a guitar he borrowed from Earl Hooker. Fantastic music.