Buddy Guy

Today is the 62nd birthday of Buddy Guy, the blues-guitar great who has

influenced rock-guitar gods such as Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. Guy

began playing in the '50s in Baton Rouge, La., with bandleader John

Tilley. Guy traveled to Chicago in 1957 and performed and hung out with the

city's musical royalty, such as Otis Rush and Muddy Waters.

In 1958, Guy

recorded two singles, "This Is The End" and "Try To Quit You Baby," both of

which were produced by Willie Dixon. After signing with Chess Records, Guy

released "First Time I Met The Blues" and "Broken Hearted Blues," both of which

showcased the shrieking vocals and guitar for which he would become famous.

More blues classics followed for Guy, including "No Lie" and "Leave My Girl

Alone." He also played guitar on records by Waters, Howlin'

Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson and others. In 1967, with Vanguard Records, Guy

issued A Man And The Blues, one of his excellent early albums.

Two years later, Guy, harpist Junior Wells and pianist Junior Mance made

records together as Buddy and the Juniors. Guy and Wells recorded with Eric

Clapton in 1970; in 1972, the pair issued Buddy Guy and Junior Wells Play The

Blues. They also toured as a team in the '70s and released a live album, Drinkin'

TNT 'n' Smokin' Dynamite, which was recorded at the 1974 Montreux Jazz Festival.

The '80s was a quiet decade for Guy. The 1991 album Damn Right, I've Got The

Blues was his first album in a decade and won Guy a Grammy. But his reputation

among guitarists had grown over the years and, in the '90s, Guy was set to capitalize on

his legend. He resumed touring to sold-out crowds and began playing frequently on TV

talk shows.

His 1994 set, Slippin' In, was well-received, but Guy also confused fans and

critics by interrupting his concerts with hammy imitations of his protégés and by giving

generally lackadaisical performances. Still, Guy is considered one of the kings of

Chicago blues and his club in the city, Buddy Guy's Legends, is a popular place to hear

some of the best of the genre.

In 1996, Guy released a live album with former "Saturday Night Live" house musician

G.E. Smith, an LP entitled Live -- The Real Deal. His most recent studio effort is

this year's Heavy Love, which features performances by young bluesman Jonny

Lang. Guy is currently touring the United States.

Other birthdays: Paul Anka, 57; David Sanborn, 53; Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond

(Jethro Tull),

52; Andy Scott (Sweet), 49; Rat Scabies (the Damned), 41; and Kate Bush, 40.