Magic Slim

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Magic Slim
Magic-Slim 2008-06-08.jpg
Magic Slim at the 25th Annual Chicago Blues Festival
Background information
Birth name Morris Holt
Also known as Magic Slim
Born (1937-08-07)August 7, 1937
Torrance, Mississippi, United States
Died February 21, 2013(2013-02-21) (aged 75)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United states
Genres Blues
Instruments Vocals, electric guitar
Years active 1955–2013
Website Official website

Morris Holt (August 7, 1937 – February 21, 2013), known as Magic Slim, was an American blues singer and guitarist.[1][2] Born at Torrance, near Grenada, Mississippi, the son of sharecroppers, he followed blues greats such as Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf to Chicago, developing his own place in the Chicago blues scene.[3]

Biography[edit]

Magic Slim was forced to give up playing the piano when he lost his little finger in a cotton gin mishap.[4] He moved first to nearby Grenada.[5] He first came to Chicago in 1955 with his friend and mentor Magic Sam. The elder Magic (Sam) let the younger Magic (Slim) play bass with his band and gave him his nickname.[4]

At first Slim was not rated very highly by his peers.[6] He returned to Mississippi to work and got his younger brother Nick interested in playing bass. By 1965 he was back in Chicago and in 1970 Nick joined him in his group, the Teardrops.[6] They played in the dim, smoke-filled juke joints popular in Chicago in the 1970s on bandstands barely large enough to hold the band.[1]

Slim's recording career began in 1966 with the song "Scufflin'", followed by a number of singles into the mid 1970s. He recorded his first album in 1977, Born Under A Bad Sign, for the French MCM label. During the 1980s, Slim released titles on Alligator, Rooster Blues and Wolf Records and won his first W.C. Handy Award. In 1980 he recorded his cover version of "Mustang Sally".

In 1982, the guitarist John Primer joined the Teardrops and stayed and played for him for 13 years.[6] Releases include Spider in My Stew on Wolf Records, and a 1996 Blind Pig release called Scufflin', which presented the post-Primer line-up with the new addition of the guitarist and singer Jake Dawson.[6]

In 1994, Slim moved to Lincoln, Nebraska where the Zoo Bar had been booking him for years.[6] Slim was frequently accompanied by his son Shawn Holt, an accomplished guitarist and singer.

In 2003, Magic Slim and the Teardrops won the W.C. Handy Award as 'Blues Band Of The Year' for the sixth time. They released a live performance on CD and DVD in August 2005 entitled Anything Can Happen.[7]

Slim died at a hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 21, 2013 at age 75. He had health problems that had worsened while he was on tour several weeks earlier.[8] His manager had stated bleeding ulcers had sent Slim to the hospital, but that he also suffered from heart, lung and kidney problems.[8]

In May 2013, Magic Slim was posthumously awarded a Blues Music Award in the 'Traditional Blues Male Artist' category.[9]

Discography[edit]

Magic Slim in 1980
  • 1977 : Born Under a Bad Sign (MCM), reissue (Storyville)
  • 1978 : Let Me Love You (MCM)
  • 1978 : Highway is My Home (Black & Blue), reissue (Evidence)
  • 1978 : Living Chicago Blues, Vol. 2 (Alligator)
  • 1980 : Liv 'n Blue (Candy Apple CA)
  • 1980 : In the Heart of the Blues (Isabel)
  • 1980 : Doing Fine (Isabel)
  • 1982 : Raw Magic (Alligator)
  • 1982 : Essential Boogie (Rooster Blues)
  • 1982 : Grand Slam (Rooster Blues)
  • 1990 : Gravel Road (Blind Pig)
  • 1992 : 44 Blues (Wolf Records) with John Primer and Bonnie Lee
  • 1992 : Spider in My Stew (Wolf Records) with John Primer
  • 1992 : Blues Behind Closed Doors (Wolf Records) with John Primer and Billy Branch
  • 1993 : Magic Slim & The Teardrops (Wolf Records)
  • 1994 : Chicago Blues Session, Vol. 10 (Wolf Records)
  • 1994 : Don't Tell Me About Your Troubles (Wolf Records)
  • 1995 : Zoo Bar Collection, Vol. 3 (Wolf Records)
  • 1995 : Alone & Unplugged
  • 1995 : Born On A Bad Sign
  • 1996 : Scufflin' (Tone Zone Studios)
  • 1997 : Let Me Love You
  • 1998 : Zoo Bar Collection, Vol. 4: Spider in My Stew
  • 1998 : See What You're Doin' to Me (Wolf Records)
  • 1998 : Black Tornado (Blind Pig)
  • 2000 : Snakebite (Blind Pig)
  • 2000 : Chicago Blues Session, Vol. 18: Live on the Road (Wolf Records)
  • 2002 : Blue Magic (Blind Pig) produced by Popa Chubby who plays occasionally 2nd guitar
  • 2005 : Anything Can Happen (Blind Pig) (live album)
  • 2006 : Tin Pan Alley (Wolf Records) (compilation album)
  • 2006 : That Ain't Right (Delmark) Magic Slim & the Teardrops / Joe Carter with Sunnyland Slim - originally recorded in 1977
  • 2007 : The Essential Magic Slim (Blind Pig)
  • 2008 : Midnight Blues (Blind Pig) - produced by Nick Moss with special guests James Cotton, Elvin Bishop, Lil' Ed Williams, Lonnie Brooks, and Otis Clay
  • 2009 : Rough Dried Woman (Wolf Records) (compilation album - 1986-1992)
  • 2010: Raising The Bar
  • 2012: Bad Boy (Blind Pig)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Guralnick, Peter (1989). Lost Highway: Jouneys and Arrivals of American Musicians. New York: Harper & Row. p. 306. ISBN 9780060971748. 
  2. ^ "Magic Slim and the Teardrops". Wirthentertainment.com. Retrieved 2014-08-03. 
  3. ^ "Chicago bluesman Magic Slim dead at 75". Reuters. 2013-02-21. Retrieved 2014-08-03. 
  4. ^ a b Bill Dahl. "Magic Slim | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-03. 
  5. ^ "Magic Slim Biography". OLDIES.com. Retrieved 2014-08-03. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. p. 144. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 
  7. ^ "Blind Pig Records". Blind Pig Records. Retrieved 2014-08-03. 
  8. ^ a b "Blues guitarist Magic Slim dies". CBS News. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "Blues Music Awards - Past Years". Blues.org. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 

External links[edit]