|Birth name||Samuel Gene Maghett|
|Born||February 14, 1937|
Grenada County, Mississippi, U.S.
|Died||December 1, 1969 (aged 32)|
Samuel Gene Maghett (February 14, 1937 – December 1, 1969), known as Magic Sam, was an American Chicago blues musician. He was born in Grenada County, Mississippi, and learned to play the blues from listening to records by Muddy Waters and Little Walter. After moving to Chicago at the age of 19, he was signed by Cobra Records and became well known as a bluesman after the release of his first record, "All Your Love", in 1957. He was known for his distinctive tremolo guitar playing.
The stage name Magic Sam was devised by Sam's bass player and childhood friend Mack Thompson at Sam's first recording session for Cobra, as an approximation of "Maghett Sam". The name Sam was using at the time, Good Rocking Sam, was already being used by another artist.
Life and career
Maghett moved to Chicago in 1956, where his guitar playing earned him bookings at blues clubs on the West Side. He recorded singles for Cobra Records from 1957 to 1959, including "All Your Love" and "Easy Baby". They did not reach the record charts but had a profound influence, far beyond Chicago's guitarists and singers. Together with recordings by Otis Rush and Buddy Guy (also Cobra artists), the West Side Sound was a manifesto for a new kind of blues. Around this time Magic Sam worked briefly with Homesick James Williamson. Magic Sam gained a following before being drafted into the U.S. Army. He served six months in prison for desertion and received a dishonorable discharge.
In 1963, his single "Feelin' Good (We're Gonna Boogie)" gained national attention. He successfully toured the U.S., Britain and Germany. He was signed to Delmark Records in 1967, for which he recorded West Side Soul and Black Magic. He continued performing live and toured with a band that included blues harp player Charlie Musselwhite, future Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen bassist "Buffalo" Bruce Barlow and drummer Sam Lay. Magic Sam's breakthrough performance was at the Ann Arbor Blues Festival in 1969, which won him many bookings in the U.S. and Europe. He sometimes performed with his uncle, Shakey Jake Harris.
His career was cut short when he suddenly died of a heart attack in December 1969. He was 32 years old. Magic Sam was buried in the Restvale Cemetery, in Alsip, Illinois. He was survived by his wife, Georgia Maghett. In February 1970, the Butterfield Blues Band played at a benefit concert for Magic Sam, at Fillmore West in San Francisco. Also on the bill were Mike Bloomfield, Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite and Nick Gravenites.
His guitar style, vocals, and songwriting have inspired and influenced many blues musicians. "Magic Sam had a different guitar sound," said his record producer, Willie Dixon. "Most of the guys were playing the straight 12-bar blues thing, but the harmonies that he carried with the chords was a different thing altogether. This tune "All Your Love", he expressed with such an inspirational feeling with his high voice. You could always tell him, even from his introduction to the music."
Awards and recognition
- 1982, Blues Foundation Blues Music Award for Magic Sam Live in the category Vintage or Reissue Album of the Year (US)
- 1982, Blues Foundation Hall of Fame, induction as Performer
- 1984, Blues Foundation Hall of Fame, West Side Soul selected in the category Classics of Blues Recordings – Albums
- 1990, Blues Foundation Hall of Fame, Black Magic selected in the category Classics of Blues Recordings – Albums
|"All Your Love"||Cobra (5013A)||1957||Sam Maghett|
|"Love Me with a Feeling"||Cobra (5013B)||Hudson Whittaker a.k.a. Tampa Red|
|"Everything Gonna Be Alright"||Cobra (5021A)||1958||Willie Dixon|
|"Look Whatcha Done"||Cobra (5021B)||Maghett|
|"All Night Long"||Cobra (5025A)||Dixon|
|"All My Whole Life"||Cobra (5025B)|
|"Easy Baby"||Cobra (5029A)||Dixon|
|"21 Days in Jail"||Cobra (5029B)||Dixon, L.P. Weaver|
|"Mr. Charlie"||Chief (C7013A)||1960||Maghett|
|"My Love Is Your Love"||Chief (C7013B)|
|"Square Dance Rock Part 1"||Chief (C7017A)||Maghett, Boyd Atkins|
|"Square Dance Rock Part 2"||Chief (C7017B)|
|"Every Night About This Time"||Chief (C7026A)||1961||Antoine Domino Jr. a.k.a. Fats Domino, Dave Bartholomew|
|"Do the Camel Walk"||Chief (C7026B)||Maghett, Mel London|
|"Blue Light Boogie"||Chief (C7033A)||Jessie Mae Robinson|
|"You Don't Have to Work"||Chief (C7033B)||Maghett|
|"Out of Bad Luck"||Crash (A425)||1966||Maghett, Al Benson|
|"She Belongs to Me"||Crash (B425)|
|West Side Soul||Delmark||1967||Recorded in Chicago, 1967|
|Black Magic||1968||Recorded in Chicago, 1968|
|Raw Blues Live 1969||Rock Beat||1969||Recorded in Berkeley, 1969|
|The Late Great Magic Sam||L+R||1980||Recorded 1963–64, 1969|
|Magic Sam Live||Delmark||1981||Recorded live in Chicago, 1963–64, and Ann Arbor, 1969|
|Magic Touch||Black Magic||Recorded live in Chicago, 1966|
|The Magic Sam Legacy||Delmark||1989||Outtakes and alternate takes recorded in Chicago, 1966–68|
|Give Me Time||1991||Solo demo and rehearsal home recordings, 1968|
|With a Feeling!: The Complete Cobra, Chief & Crash Recordings 1957-1966||Westside||2001||Most pre-Delmark recordings; also released as Out of Luck, P-Vine (2003)|
|Rockin' Wild in Chicago||Delmark||2002||Recorded live in Chicago, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1968|
|Live at the Avant Garde||2013||Recorded live in Milwaukee, 1968|
- ^ Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues: A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger. p. 231. ISBN 978-0313344237.
- ^ a b c Palmer, Robert. Deep Blues. Penguin Books. pp. 267, 269.
- ^ Gillett, Charlie (1996). The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock and Roll (2nd ed.). New York City: Da Capo Press. pp. 177–179. ISBN 0-306-80683-5.
- ^ Rowe, M. (1981). Chicago Blues: The City and the Music. New York City: Da Capo Press. pp. 178–179. ISBN 978-0306801457.
- ^ a b c Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books. pp. 143–144. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.
- ^ a b Larkin, Colin (2011). "Magic Sam". The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0857125958.
- ^ Johnson, Greg (September 2000). "Magic Sam". cascadeblues.org. Archived from the original on February 3, 2007. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
- ^ Dahl, Bill (1996). "Magic Sam: Magic Touch". In Erlewine, Michael; Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris; Koda, Cub (eds.). All Music Guide to the Blues. San Francisco: Miller Freeman Books. p. 176. ISBN 0-87930-424-3.
- ^ Mike, Rowe (1979). Chicago Breakdown. Da Capo Press. p. 203. ISBN 978-0306795329.
- ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'n' Roll Years. London: Reed International Books. p. 209. CN 5585.
- ^ "1982 Blues Music Awards". Blues Foundation. Retrieved September 26, 2011.
- ^ a b c "1982, 1984, 1990 Blues Hall of Fame Inductees". Blues Foundation. Archived from the original on May 18, 2010. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
- ^ listed as "Magic Sam with the Ammons Sisters"
- 1937 births
- 1969 deaths
- 20th-century American singers
- People from Grenada County, Mississippi
- Military personnel from Mississippi
- Chicago blues musicians
- Electric blues musicians
- American blues guitarists
- American male guitarists
- American blues singers
- Blues musicians from Mississippi
- Delmark Records artists
- 20th-century American guitarists
- Guitarists from Illinois
- Guitarists from Mississippi
- 20th-century American male musicians
- Cobra Records artists