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Little Smokey Smothers

Little Smokey Smothers was born on 02/01/1939 in Tchula, Mississippi. His full birth name was Albert Abraham Smothers. He was the younger brother of Otis "Big Smokey" Smothers. When he was 15 he started to learn guitar. Two years later he relocated to Chicago. He would soon appear on stage with Arthur “Big Boy” Spires, Magic Sam, Otis Rush and Lazy Bill Lucas.
In 1958, Little Smokey joined Howlin' Wolf and he played on his recording session for Chess Records the next year. Smothers contributed to tracks such as "I've Been Abused," "Howlin' for My Darling," and "Mr. Airplane Man".
In 1961, he founded Little Smokey Smothers and the Pipeplayers. He would also become a founding member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, after meeting Paul Butterfield. He was replaced in the band by Elvin Bishop, but he would still remain friends.
In the 1960s, Smothers would perform alongside Buddy Guy, James Cotton, Earl Hooker, and Junior Wells.
In the 1970s, Smothers musical career went through a dry spell and he turned to construction work.
In 1979, he recorded on Mojo Buford's album "Chicago Blues Summit".
In the 1980s, Smothers was with the Legendary Blues Band.
In 1989, Smothers featured on the Legendary Blues Band's album "Woke Up with the Blues".
In 1993, he released his first solo album "Bossman! The Chicago Blues of Little Smokey Smothers", which was released by Dutch label Black Magic. The album also featured Elvin Bishop and Smother's cousin Lee "Shot" Williams. In the same year, Bishop and Smothers performed at the Chicago Blues Festival.
In 1995, Smothers had open heart surgery.
In 1996, Smothers released the album "Second Time Around" with the Crosscut label.
In 1999, he performed at the San Diego Blues Festival and also performed at a party for Mick Jagger's 55th birthday.
In 2000, the live album "That's My Partner" was released on Alligator Records. It featured Smothers performing with Bishop and was recorded in San Francisco. Also that year, he performed at the Chicago Blues Festival.
In 2003, Smothers appeared in Martin Scorsese's TV series "The Blues".
In 2006, Smothers and Bishop played at the Ground Zero club in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
In 2009, Bishop compiled the album "Chicago Blues Buddies" that incorporated recordings with Smothers. Proceeds from the album helped to pay for Smother's medical expenses from developing diabetes. As a result of the diabetes Smothers had both of his legs amputated.
On 20/11/2010, Smothers died of natural causes in Chicago.

The Music History Calendar is written by the Blues Rock artist Marshland Pete
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