Magic Slim, the guitarist, singer and recording artist and a contemporary of blues greats Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, who was instrumental for shaping the sound of Chicago’s blues, was hospitalized for a bleeding ulcer and found likewise to be suffering from heart, lung and kidney problems, as reported by the New York Times on February 22nd.
Marty Salzman, his manager, confirmed that the heavy smoker Slim suffered from emphysema and heart problems which worsened during their January tour.
He lauded Slim by saying “In comparison, there’s probably not quite another musician who has a repertoire that Slim had”, Reuters reported.
Slim, the bandleader of the Teardrops and a mainstay of the Chicago blues scene was one of the foremost practitioners of the back alley blues associated with the postwar Chicago blues sound.
He and his band were known as “the last real Chicago blues band” noted for their authentic performance of the music.
Slim first came to Chicago in 1955 with friend and mentor Magic Sam, who gave him his nickname, and let him play bass with his band.
In 1970 he was joined by his brother, Nick, in his newly formed group, the Teardrops. They played in juke joints popular in the city.
His recording career started in 1966 with the song Scufflin’ and recorded his own album in 1977 entitled “Born Under A Bad Sign” for the French MCM label, which launched his career to worldwide acclaim and recognition.
In 2003 Magic Slim and his band won the W. C. Handy Award as “Blues Band of the Year” for the sixth time.
His funeral service was held at Horizons Community Church in Lincoln, Nebraska at 10 am today.