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June 30, 1942 |
Ware Place South Carolina, United States
|Years active||1965–1990s, 2006-today|
|Labels||Plantation One Productions|
|Gas Can Guitar|
His musical journey began in the 1950s when he and his brother Leroy fashioned a guitar from a steel gas can, wood, nails, and screen wire. His early career included working with a young James Brown in the band, J. Floyd & the Shamrocks. Arnold moved to Chicago in 1965, where he worked with A.C. Reed prior to joining Muddy Waters' band in 1966. Arnold appears on the November 1966 live recording with Muddy released in 2009 as Muddy Waters - Authorized Bootleg. He formed the Soul Invaders in 1967, finding work backing up B.B. King, The Temptations, and others. His studio work in the 1960s includes playing bass on several notable blues albums, including Otis Spann's The Blues Is Where It's At, and John Lee Hooker's Live At Cafe Au Go Go. He performed in various session work after moving to California in the 1970s. Arnold's distinctive bass line can be heard on the theme for the TV show Sanford and Son. His TV work also included a four-year gig as part of the set band on Soul Train.
By the 1990s, Arnold had grown weary of the road life and returned home to Pelzer, South Carolina and virtual retirement from the spot light until 2006 when he was convinced to front his own band, Plate Full O' Blues. Arnold's return to the stage was the subject of a documentory, Stan Woodwards final film, Nothing to Prove: Mac Arnold's Return to the Blues]].
Awards and recognition
- The Blues Foundation Awards
- Nominee, Best Traditional Blues Male Artist 2012, Mac Arnold.
- Nominee, Best DVD 2011, Woodward Studio, Nothing to Prove, Mac Arnold.
- Winner, Best Historical Album of the Year 2010, Chess - Authorized Bootleg (Muddy Waters) Mac Arnold appears on the album and accepted the award in Memphis.
- Winner 2006 Folk Heritage Award 
Music in schools
Arnold and the band support the preservation of music education in public schools through the, "I Can Do Anything Foundation", an organization that was started following the release of a song by the same name, written by Mac Arnold and Max Hightower and performed by Plate full O' Blues.
- "Mac Arnold". Swampland. Retrieved 2014-07-12.
- University of South Carolina, McKissick Museum Newsletter, p.3
- Mark Hedin (2005-11-13). "Flash From Past Comes Back To Honor Bluesman". SFGate. Retrieved 2014-07-12.
- Limnios, Michael. "Blues.gr". Retrieved 19 February 2012.
- Wodward, Stan. "NOTHING TO PROVE: Mac Arnold's Return to the Blues ... a Southern Americana Classic". CLASSIC SOUTHERN CULTURE AND FOLK LIFE DOCUMENTARIES. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
- "Blues Foundation Award". Blues Music Awards. The Blues Foundation. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
- Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award Winners, Page 7[permanent dead link]
- "I Can Do Anything Foundation". Home Page. The I Can Do Anything Foundation. Retrieved 19 February 2012.