Buddy GuyOn 30/07/1936: Buddy Guy was born. He was born in Lettsworth, Louisiana and his birth name was George Guy. He first began learning to play guitar on a two string diddley bow that he had made. Later on he was given a Harmony acoustic guitar, which he donated in his later career to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In the early fifties Guy would perform with bands in Baton Rouge, whilst he worked as a custodian at Louisiana State University.
In 1957 he moved to Chicago. There he would be influenced by Muddy Waters.
In 1958 he won a competition against guitarists Magic Sam and Otis Rush that gave him a record contract. Soon afterwards he recorded for Cobra Records.
From 1958 to 1968 he was with Chess Records. Chess would not let Guy record in the same style as his live performances. Leonard Chess (Founder of Chess Records) described Guy's playing as "noise". In the early sixties Chess recorded Guy as a solo artist with various different styles, but didn't release them. He would be used though as a session guitarist to back Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Koko Taylor amongst others.
In 1965 he was a part of the European tour of the American Folk Blues Festival.
In 1965 and 1966 he recorded with Junior Wells for Delmark Records. He used the name Friendly Chap for the sessions.
In 1967 Guy released his only album with Chess, "I Left My Blues in San Francisco.
In 1969 he appeared in Supershow, a documentary film of a session in Staines, England. It also featured Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Jack Bruce, Stephen Stills, Buddy Miles, Glenn Campbell, Roland Kirk, Jon Hiseman, and the Misunderstood. His career would then go into decline.
In the later eighties and early nineties Guy's career would have a revival. In 1990 Eric Clapton had requested that Guy be part of an all star blues guitar lineup for the recording of his live album "24 Nights", in the Royal Albert Hall, London. After "24 Nights", Guy was signed to Silvertone Records.
Guy performs an annual residency at his blues club Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago.
In 2012 he performed at the White House.
Buddy Guy has been highly influential in blues and rock and roll. During his career he has won six Grammy Awards and earned 23 W.C. Handy Awards and Billboard magazine's Century Award. He has been inducted into Guitar Center's Hollywood Rockwalk, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. In addition he was presented with the National Medal of Arts and was awarded Kennedy Center Honors.