Goodbye, Old Friends

A  brief look at the blues community ​members who left us in 2016

“Killer” Ray Allison, 60

Local Chicago guitarist who started his career as a drummer backing legends such as Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy and James Cotton 

Osee Anderson, Sr.

Chicago guitarist who played for several years with the Lonnie Brooks band and also with the Chicago Rhythm & Blues Kings and others

Rick L. Blues (Rick Leblanc), 5)

Canadian harp player

Tommy Brown, 84 
Atlanta blues singer with more than 75 years in the business

Aron Burton, 77
Chicago bass player, singer and songwriter who was a founding member of Albert Collins's Ice Breakers band and who recorded for Earwig

Karen Carroll, 58
Former Delmark recording artist who sang with Carey Bell and Professor Eddie Lusk; goddaughter of singer Bonnie Lee

Otis Clay, 73
Beloved Chicago Soul Blues/Gospel singer

Bobby “Top Hat” Davis, 83 

Maxwell St. regular performer and the father of the late Eric "Guitar" Davis; hosted the Bobby Davis Blues Show on CAN TV

Barrelhouse Chuck Goering, 58
Blues fan who became a legendary piano player in Chicago after arriving in Chicago to learn from his blues heroes

Preston Hubbard, 63
Former bass player for the Fabulous Thunderbirds; session musician on Bonnie Raitt's Nick of Time recording

Ted Harvey, 85
Drummer for Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers, the first band recorded by Alligator Records

Long John Hunter, 84
Texas guitarslinger with a reputation for showmanship; his first album, Ride With Me, was recorded in 1993

Candye Kane, 54
Bawdy LA-based blues singer who fought a courageous eight-year battle with cancer 

 Jimmi J (Jimmie E. Jacobs Sr.), 64
Lead guitarist/vocalist for  Jimmi J and the Hard Drive 

Morris "Moe" Jennings, 77
Chess Records studio drummer best known for playing drums on Muddy's album, Electric Mud, and the 1969 album, The Howlin' Wolf Album

Lonnie Mack, 74
​Legendary blues rock guitarist who influenced many other guitarists

LT McGee, 70
West side Chicago bluesman with a powerful voice who was a regular at the Polk St. Pub blues jams and a founder of the R&B group, the Homewreckers

Little Bobby Reynolds  
West side blues singer

Eric Udel
Bass player for the Original Blues Brothers Band for the past 15 years

LC Ulmer (Lee Chester Ulmer), 87 
Mississippi Delta multi-instrumentalist who played guitar, keyboards, drums, fiddle, banjo mandolin, kazoo, and harmonica

Bob Walsh, 68 
Highly respected Canadian blues guitarist from Quebec 

Ruby Wilson, 68
Blues, soul and gospel singer known as The Queen of Beale St. in Memphis

"Killer" Ray Allison


Phil Chess, 95
One of the Chess brothers who founded the legendary recording company that recorded Chicago's most famous blues men and women

Marie Dixon, 79
Wife of Chicago blues legend Willie Dixon and matriarch of the Chicago blues community who carried on Willie's vision with the Blues Heaven Foundation at 2120 S. Michigan

Greg Freerksen, 65

Long-time WDCB DJ and local civil rights and labor union attorney

Bill Ham, 79
ZZ Top's long-time manager 

Herb Kent, 88
Herb "The Cool Gent" Kent was a legendary Chicago DJ for more than 70 years at 11 different radio stations

Tanja Riley
Wife of guitarist Dave Riley

Willie “Po’ Monkey” Seaberry, 74 
Proprietor of Po' Monkey's Juke Joint in Bolivar County, MS, one of the Delta's most famous music halls

Ralph Speas, 83
Long-time blues authority and past president of the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society; hosted a blues show at WQFS

Amy "Atomic Mama" Van Singel, 66 
One of the founding members of Living Blues magazine


Mose Allison, 89
Pianist/singer/songwriter who dabbled in both jazz and Delta blues

Lee Andrews, 79 
Doo wop legend (Lee Andrews and the Hearts) and father of  Roots drummer Questlove

Lecresia Campbell, 53 
Gospel singer 

Daryl Coley, 60 
Gospel singer who was a member of Helen Stevens and the Voices of Christ and the Edwin Hawkins Singers

Stanley Dural Jr.
aka Buckwheat Zydeco, 68

Accordionist and ambassador for zydeco music

Wayne Jackson, 74
Trumpet player who was half of the legendary Memphis Horns

James Jamerson, Jr., 58 
Motown bass player who followed his legendary father into the business

Bob Jones, 83

Songwriter who wrote for Artie "Blues Boy" White and others. He was also a performer, agent, and producer

Sharon Jones, 61
Powerhouse soul singer who found fame with her band, the Dap-Kings, late in life

Joe Ligon, 80 
Founder and singer for the Mighty Clouds of Joy, one of gospel music's most successful quartets

John D. Loudermilk, 82
Country singer/prolific songwriter who wrote the blue-ish song, Tobacco Road

Sir Mack Rice, 82 
Singer/songwriter who wrote Mustang Sally, Respect Yourself , Cheaper to Keep Her, Cadillac Assembly Line and Cold Women with Warm Hearts, among many others; was in the Falcons with Wilson Pickett in Detroit

Leon Russell, 74

Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member famous for his gospel-infused boogie woogie piano style

Scotty Moore, 84

Guitarist for Elvis Presley and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee

Lewie Steinberg, 82
Original bassist for Booker T. & the MGs

Jerome Teasley, 67
Drummer extraordinaire who worked with such artists as Al Green, Jimi Hendrix and Ike and Tina Turner, but who is best known as part of the seminal Motown band, Jr. Walker & the All-Stars; in recent years, he also played with blues singer Janiva Magness 

Reginald Torian, Sr., 65 
Soul singer who took over for Curtis Mayfield in The Impressions

Maurice White, 74

Singer and co-founder of Earth, Wind & Fire

Bernie Worell, 72
Keyboardist for Parliament Funkadelic and unofficial member of the Talking Heads

All photos © Chicago Blues News/Karen Murphy


Marie Dixon

LT McGee

Barrelhouse Chuck

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