Magic SamMagic Sam was born on 14/02/1937 in Hendersonville, Grenada County, Mississippi. His full birth name was Samuel Gene Maghett.
In 1956, Maghett moved to Chicago. There he would be popular for his guitar playing and got many bookings at blues club on the west side.
From 1957 to 1959, Maghett recorded singles for Cobra Records. Maghett's bass player and childhood friend Mack Thompson came up with his nickname. Up to the point, Maghett had been using the name Good Rocking Sam, but that was being used by another artist. In the first recording session, he called him Magic Sam as an approximation of Maghett Sam. The songs included "All Your Love" and "Easy Baby". They did not chart, but they were influential amongst blues musicians. Magic Sam would also record with Otis Rush, Buddy Guy and briefly worked with Homesick James Williamson.
Maghett had gained a following but was soon drafted into the US army. He served six months imprisonment for desertion and received a dishonourable discharge.
In 1963, Magic Sam's single "Feelin' Good (We're Gonna Boogie)" was a national success. He then went on tour in the US, UK and Germany.
In 1967, Magic Sam signed with Delmark Records. In the same year, Magic Sam released his debut album for Delmark Records, "West Side Soul".
In 1968, Magic Sam released the album "Black Magic". He would perform live with blues harp player Charlie Musselwhite and Sam Lay.
In 1969, Magic Sam performed at Ann Arbor Blues Festival, the performance would win him many bookings in the US and Europe.
On 01/12/1969, Maghett died suddenly of a heart attack.
In 1970, the Butterfield Blues Band played a benefit concert for Magic Sam at Filmore West in San Francisco. Also on the bill were Mike Bloomfield, Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite and Nick Gravenites.
In 1982, Magic Sam was posthumously awarded a Blues Foundation Blues Music Award for Vintage or Reissue Album of the Year. In the same year, he was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame.
In 1984, the album "West Side Soul" was awarded a Blues Foundation Hall of Fame Award for Classics of Blues Recordings – Albums.
In 1990, the album "Black Magic" was awarded a Blues Foundation Hall of Fame Award for Classics of Blues Recordings – Albums.