Jimmy Reed (1925-1976)
Mathis James "Jimmy" Reed (September 6, 1925 - August 29, 1976) was
an American blues singer notable for bringing his distinctive style of blues
to mainstream audiences. Jimmy Reed was a major player in the field of
electric blues, as opposed to the more acoustic-based sound of many of his
contemporaries. Jimmy Reed was born in Dunleith, Mississippi in 1925, learning
the harmonica and guitar from
a close friend. After spending several years busking and performing in the
area, Jimmy Reed moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1943 before being drafted into
the United States Navy during World War II. In 1945, Jimmy Reed was discharged
and moved back to Mississippi for a brief period, marrying his girlfriend,
Mary "Mama" Reed, before moving to Gary, Indiana to work at an
Armour & Co. meat packing plant. By the 1950s, Jimmy Reed had established
himself as a popular local musician and joined the Gary Kings with
as well as playing on the street with
Willie Joe Duncan.
Jimmy Reed failed to gain a contract with Chess Records, but then signed with
Vee-Jay Records through
At Vee-Jay, Jimmy Reed began playing again with
and soon released You Don't Have To Go, his first hit song. This was
followed by a long string of hits. Jimmy Reed maintained his reputation, in
spite of rampant alcoholism. Sometimes, his wife had to help him remember the
lyrics to his songs while performing. In 1957, Jimmy Reed developed epilepsy,
though the disease was not correctly diagnosed for a long time, as Jimmy Reed
and doctors assumed it was delirium tremens. In spite of his numerous hits,
Jimmy Reed's personal problems prevented him from achieving the same level of
fame as other popular blues artists of the time, though he had more hit songs
than many others. When Vee-Jay Records closed down, Jimmy Reed's manager
signed a contract with the fledgling ABC-Bluesway label, but Jimmy Reed was
never able to score another hit. Jimmy Reed died in Oakland, California in
1976, a few days short of his 51st birthday. He is interred in the Lincoln
Cemetery in Worth, Illinois. In 1991 Jimmy Reed was inducted into the Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame.
(quoted from wikipedia.org)
Where is Jimmy Reed's official website?
Please email us!
Visit Jimmy Reed's page at myspace.com.
Visit also these related Sites:
Jimmy Reed Tribute Pages
Jimmy Reed tribute page at myspace.com.
Biographical Information on Jimmy Reed
Jimmy Reed biography at wikipedia.org.
Jimmy Reed biography at bluesharp.ca.
Jimmy Reed biography by Cub Koda.
Jimmy Reed biography by Terry Currier.
Jimmy Reed biography at livinblues.com.
Various Articles on Jimmy Reed
Article at rockhall.com.
Jimmy Reed quotes at brainyquote.com.
Reviews and Critiques of Jimmy Reed Live Performances and Recordings
Article at wikipedia.org.
Jimmy Reed Interviews
The Jimmy Reed Interview 1976 - Norman Davis, with a link to an audio file (runtime: 1:04:04).
Jimmy Reed Lyrics
Lyrics of numerous Jimmy Reed songs.
Jimmy Reed Tabs
Jimmy Reed guitar tabs.
Jimmy Reed Discographies
Jimmy Reed discography at soulfulkindamusic.net.
Jimmy Reed Audio Files
Jimmy Reed - High and Lonesome. RM file, runtime 03:04.
Jimmy Reed - You Don't Have To Go. RM file, runtime 03:23.
Jimmy Reed - Bright Lights, Big City. RM file, runtime 04:00.
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