Little Mack Simmons

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Little Mack Simmons
Little Mack Simmons.jpg
Little Mack Simmons in 1975
Background information
Birth name Malcolm Simmons
Born (1933-01-25)January 25, 1933
Twist, Arkansas, United States
Died October 24, 2000(2000-10-24) (aged 67)
Chicago, Illinois
Genres Chicago blues
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, harmonicist
Instruments Harmonica, vocals
Years active Late 1950s–2000
Labels St. George, Wolf Records, various

Little Mack Simmons (January 25, 1933 — October 24, 2000)[1][2] was an African-American Chicago blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter.


Malcolm Simmons was born in Twist, Arkansas.[3] In his youth he befriended James Cotton, and they grew up learning to play the harmonica. Simmons relocated to St. Louis, Missouri, at the age of 18 and worked on the railroad. At this time Simmons made his stage debut with Robert Nighthawk.[4]

In 1954 he moved again to Chicago, put together his own backing band, and had a five year residency at Cadillac Baby's. He commenced recording in 1959, issuing records on a number of labels including Chess.[4]

In the late 1950s and early 1960s Simmons recorded several more obscure singles, often simply billed as Little Mack (or Mac).[3] Simmons went on to provide the opportunity for others talents to be seen. He owned and managed Chicago's Zodiac Lounge from the mid to late 1960s. In addition, he owned a recording studio and recorded on his own labels, PM Records and Simmons Records.[2] Simmons left the music industry at that time for the ministry, and was rarely heard in 30 years, notwithstanding an album he recorded in 1975 in Paris, France.[3]

His return to blues music arrived with High & Lonesome (1995), which was an early success for St. George Records, an independent record label. Simmons' energetic style, accompanied by Studebaker John, belied his years. Come Back to Me Baby (1996), with featured sidemen John Primer, Willie Kent and Jake Dawson (guitarist) was also well received.[3]

Simmons died in October 2000, of colon cancer, in his adopted hometown of Chicago, at the age of 67.[2]



  • Blue Lights, 1975 (Black & Blue Records, France)
  • Love Will Make a Way Somehow, 1978 (Simmons Records)
  • High & Lonesome, 1995 (St. George Records)
  • Come Back to Me Baby, 1996 (Wolf Records)
  • Little Mack is Back, 1997 (Electro-Fi)
  • Somewhere On Down the Line, 1998 (Electro-Fi)
  • The Best of Little Mack Simmons, 2001 (Electro-Fi)[4][5]


  • "Come Back To Me Baby"
  • "Jumpin' At Cadillac" with James Cotton
  • "Times Gettin' Tougher"
  • "You Mistreated Me Baby"
  • "I Need Love"
  • "I Play For Keeps"
  • "I'm Happy Now"
  • "Don't Leave Me Now"
  • "When The Lord Stands By"
  • "Inflation Blues"[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Little Mack Simmons | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  2. ^ a b c "WhosWho Chicago: Little Mack Simmons : - Chicago City Life in Chicago, Illinois". 2000-10-24. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  3. ^ a b c d Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. pp. 166–167. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Mack Simmons Bio". 1933-01-25. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  5. ^ "Little Mack Simmons | Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 

External links[edit]