Buddy Guy

He is more than a blues guitar legend. Buddy Guy (born George Guy on July 30, 1936, in Lettsworth, Louisiana). Known award-winning recordings like “Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues” and “Born to Play Guitar,” Guy is widely regarded as a significant exponent of the Chicago blues style popularized by Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf in the 1960s. He is credited with having inspired the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, John Mayer & Gary Clark among many others. Many well-known and up-and-coming blues guitarists have cited him as an inspiration.

Guy’s flair for theatrics manifests itself in a variety of ways: he uses drumsticks and, inspired as a youngster by a local blues musician, he steps into the audience to perform (joining or leaping into the audience has also long been common in both American popular and gospel music, as in the earlier work of Big Jay McNeely or the Dixie Hummingbirds).

Buddy Guy

The town of Lettsworth, Louisiana, is where Guy spent his childhood. Since Guy’s parents were sharecroppers, he spent his childhood picking cotton for $2.50 per hundredweight. Starting with a homemade two-string diddley bow, he set out to master guitar playing. In time, he received a Harmony acoustic guitar, which, after being in Guy’s possession for decades, he eventually gave to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

When he was younger, in the ’50s, Guy was a member of bands in Baton Rouge like Big Papa Tilley and Raful Neal’s. A pair of 1957 demos he cut for Ace Records was never released. Guy won a record contract in 1958 after competing against West Side guitarists Magic Sam and Otis Rush. The second album he ever recorded was a collaborative effort between him and Ike Turner, who he met during the Cobra sessions. In the ’60s and ’70s, Chess Records employed Buddy Guy as a session guitarist.

Music, composed by Gene Barge and Charlie Stepney, was heavily influenced by the soul era. The blues renaissance of the late 1980s and early 1990s gave new life to his career. Many famous musicians, including Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Koko Taylor, have included him in their records.

In Lettsworth, Louisiana, Buddy Guy’s parents, Sam and Isabel Guy, gave birth to him as George Guy. The first of the couple’s five children, he came first. Also, a blues musician was his sibling, Phil Guy.

Blues guitar is another instrument Greg Guy is skilled at. He tied the knot with Joan Guy in 1959. Their six children were born between 1961 and 1965: Charlotte, Carlise, Colleen, George Jr., Gregory, and Geoffrey.

His marriage to Jennifer Guy lasted from 1975 to 2002. Rashawnna and Michael are their two children, who they raised together. Sadly, the union has broken up. Rashawnna Guy, is a Rapper known as Shawnna. As of 2014, Guy called Orland Park, Illinois home, a suburb of Chicago’s south side.

On March 14, 2005, Guy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Eric Clapton and B.B. King. He plays electric and acoustic guitars and received eight Grammys for his work in modern and classic blues styles. He and Jeff Beck played “Let Me Love You Baby” at the Hall of Fame’s 25th-anniversary concert in 2009. There is a live performance by him on Guitar Center Sessions on DirecTV from November 15, 2010.

In 2012, Buddy Guy was honored with a Kennedy Center Honor on December 2. Guy was admitted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2014. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences honored Guy with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015.

December 8, 2018, has been officially dubbed “Buddy Guy Day” in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Guy owns a blues club in Chicago know as Buddy Guy’s Legends, where he still performs on a regular basis.

It was announced that he will begin his “Damn Right” Farewell tour starting in February 2023.

You can read more about Buddy from his 2003 published auto biography “When I Left Home”

Listen to Buddy’s latest CD on Apple Music.

2 Comments on “Buddy Guy”

  1. Buddy Guy is the man. Have seen him three times over the years. Will definately see his farewell tour next year. I have even thought about taking a trip to Chicago to check out his Buddy Guy’s Legends club.

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