Blues guitarist Magic Slim died yesterday in a Philadelphia hospital, The Associated Press reports. He was 75, and had been dealing with worsening health problems, his manager said.
Slim, born Morris Holt in Mississippi, helped define the sound of post-war electric blues in Chicago as a younger peer of icons like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. Slim’s first instrument was piano, but after he lost the little finger on his right hand in a cotton-gin accident, he switched to guitar, and also played bass with his mentor, the guitarist Magic Sam. Slim moved to Chicago in 1955, but found it so difficult to land gigs on a competitive South Side blues scene that he soon returned home.