Mighty Joe Young (musician)

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Mighty Joe Young
Mighty Joe Young.jpg
Mighty Joe Young in 1976
Background information
Birth name Joseph Young
Born (1927-09-23)September 23, 1927
Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
Died March 27, 1999(1999-03-27) (aged 71)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres Chicago blues[1]
Occupation(s) Musician, singer, guitarist
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 1950s-1980s
Labels Sonet
Blind Pig

Mighty Joe Young (September 23, 1927 – March 27, 1999[2]) was an American Chicago blues guitarist.[1] Born Joseph Young in Shreveport, Louisiana, he died in Chicago, Illinois.[2] Though born in Louisiana, Young was raised in Milwaukee. He first began playing in the early 1950s by singing in Milwaukee nightclubs. By the mid-1950s, Young had recorded his first song for Jiffy Records in Louisiana.

Before Young became known for his contributions to blues, he was training to become a boxer.

Young worked as a sidemen in Chicago starting the 1950s.[3] He worked with Otis Rush and his band in the 1960s, and played on Magic Sam's albums, West Side Soul and Black Magic.[3] His album Blues with a Touch of Soul came out on Delmark Records in 1971.[3] Young also worked with Billy Boy Arnold, Jimmy Rogers, and Willie Dixon.[3] Young's song, "Turning Point", appeared in the Michael Mann feature film, Thief (1981).

Mr. Young died from pneumonia at the age of 71, which developed after he underwent spinal surgery meant to relieve numbness in his fingers preventing him from playing the guitar.[4]


  • Blues with a Touch of Soul (Delmark) - 1971
  • Legacy of the Blues, Vol. 4 (Sonet) - 1972
  • Chicken Heads (Ovation) - 1974
  • Mighty Joe Young (Ovation) - 1976
  • Bluesy Josephine (Black and Blue) - 1976
  • Love Gone (Ovation) - 1978
  • Live at the Wise Fools Pub (Aim Trading Group) - 1978
  • Mighty Man (Blind Pig) - 1997

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music (1st ed.). Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 1-904041-96-5. 
  2. ^ a b Thedeadrockstarsclub.com - accessed May 2009
  3. ^ a b c d Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues - From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. pp. 194–195. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 
  4. ^ Joseph 'Mighty Joe' Young; Pioneering Blues Guitarist

External links[edit]