Magic Slim: Dead at 75
Magic Slim performs at the 25th Annual Chicago Blues Fest. Photo by Adam Bielawski – June 8, 2008
By MARK SCOLFORO
Magic Slim, a younger contemporary of blues greats Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf who helped shape the sound of Chicago’s electric blues, died Thursday. He was 75.
He died shortly after midnight Thursday at a Philadelphia hospital, said his manager, Marty Salzman. The musician had health problems that worsened while he was on tour several weeks ago in Pennsylvania, Salzman said.
Magic Slim and his backing band, the Teardrops, performed a no-holds-barred brand of Chicago-style electric blues, led by his singing and guitar playing, and were regulars on the music festival circuit.
Slim’s given name was Morris Holt. The Mississippi native established himself in Chicago’s thriving blues community in the 1960s, but more recently lived in Lincoln, Neb.
Holt’s story was one of persistence. Like many bluesmen from rural Mississippi, he left a life that revolved around cotton fields and moved to Chicago in 1955. But competition on the South Side was fierce in those days, and he moved back home after failing to establish himself.
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