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Luther Allison

Luther Allison was born on 17/08/1939 in Widener, Arkansas. In 1951, he and his family moved to Chicago. Allison taught himself how to play the guitar and would listen to a lot of blues music. By 1954, he started to hang around outside blues nightclubs, hoping to perform.
In 1957, Allison was invited to play on stage by Howlin' Wolf. Freddie King took Allison under his wing and got him a record deal. Allison would take over King's house band gig at a club in Chicago.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Allison played on the club circuit.
In 1965, Allison recorded his first single.
In 1967, Allison signed with Delmark Records.
In 1968, he released his debut album called "Love Me Mama".
In 1969, he performed at Ann Arbor Blues Festival. His performance was well received and he performed there again for the next three years. He would tour nationwide. His performance would include long guitar solos and crowd walking.
In 1972, Allison signed with Motown Records. He was one of only a few blues artists.
In the mid-1970s, Allison toured Europe.
In 1977, Allison moved to France.
Around 1979, Allison would briefly live in Peoria, Illinois. There he signed with Rumble Records. Allison would tour the US bar circuit during the period. He would spend eight months of the year in Europe at high profile venues and festivals such as Montreux Jazz Festival.
In 1992, he performed with Johnny Hallyday for 18 shows in Paris.
In 1994, Allison's manager Thomas Ruf founded Ruf Records. Allison signed with Ruf Records and made a comeback in association with Alligator Records. Bruce Iglauer, Alligator's founder, convinced Allison to return to the US. In the same year, Allison released the album "Soul Fixin' Man". He toured the US and Canada to promote it. Still, within 1994, Allison won four W.C. Handy Awards.
In 1995, Allison released the album "Blue Streak". He would earn more W.C. Handy Awards and would win several Living Blues Awards.
In 1997, whilst touring, Allison checked into a hospital for dizziness. He had a tumour on his lung, that had metastasized on his brain. He would go in and out of a coma.
On 12/08/1997, Allison died in Madison, Wisconsin. His album "Reckless" had just been released.
In 1998, Allison was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

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