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Jimmy Reed

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Birth name  Mathis James Reed
Labels  Vee-Jay
Genres  Blues
Name  Jimmy Reed

Role  Musician
Years active  1940sā€“1976
Record label  Vee Jay Records

Born  September 6, 1925 Dunleith, Mississippi, United States (1925-09-06)
Instruments  Vocals, harmonica, guitar
Died  August 29, 1976, Oakland, California, United States
Albums  Jimmy Reed at Carnegie, Now Appearing, As Jimmy Is, The Very Best of Jimmy Re, The Legend - The Man

Occupation(s)  Musician, songwriter

Jimmy reed big boss man with lyrics 1960 high quality cover version

Mathis James Reed (September 6, 1925 ā€“ August 29, 1976) was an American blues musician and songwriter. A major player of electric blues, he had a significant impact on rock and roll artists such as Elvis Presley, Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons, Hank Williams, Jr, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jerry Garcia and the Rolling Stones.


Jimmy Reed wwwbluesharpcalegendsjreed1jpg

Guitar crusher baby what you want me to do jimmy reed new orleans music festival erfurt 2010


Jimmy Reed Jimmy Reed All About Jazz

Reed was born in Dunleith, Mississippi, in 1925. He learned the harmonica and guitar from his friend Eddie Taylor. After several years of busking and performing there, he moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1943. He was then drafted into the US Navy and served in World War II. He was discharged in 1945 and returned briefly to Mississippi, marrying his girlfriend, Mary (henceforth known as Mama Reed). He then moved to Gary, Indiana, to work at an Armour meat-packing plant. Mama Reed was an uncredited background singer on many of his recordings, notably the hits "Baby What You Want Me to Do", "Big Boss Man" and "Bright Lights, Big City".

By the 1950s, Reed had established himself as a popular musician. He joined the Gary Kings with John Brim and played on the street with Willie Joe Duncan. Reed failed to gain a recording contract with Chess Records but signed with Vee-Jay Records through Brim's drummer, Albert King. At Vee-Jay, Reed began playing again with Eddie Taylor and soon released "You Don't Have to Go", his first hit record. This was followed by a long string of hits.

Reed maintained his reputation despite his rampant alcoholism; his wife sometimes had to help him remember the lyrics to his songs while recording. In 1957, Reed developed epilepsy, though the condition was not correctly diagnosed for a long time, as Reed and doctors assumed it was delirium tremens.

In spite of his numerous hits, 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, his manager signed a contract with the fledgling ABC-Bluesway label, but Reed never produced another hit.

In 1968, he toured Europe with the American Folk Blues Festival.

Reed died of respiratory failure in 1976, in Oakland, California, eight days short of his 51st birthday. He is interred in the Lincoln Cemetery, in Worth, Illinois.

Reed was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.


The Rolling Stones have cited Reed as a major influence on their sound, and their early set lists included Reed's songs "Ain't That Lovin' You Baby", "The Sun Is Shining" (played by the Stones at the 1969 Altamont concert), "Bright Lights, Big City" and "Shame, Shame, Shame". The B-side of their February 1964 hit single "Not Fade Away" was a pastiche of "Shame, Shame, Shame", entitled "Little by Little". Their first album, The Rolling Stones (subtitled England's Newest Hit Makers in America), released in April 1964, featured "Little by Little" and their cover version of Reed's "Honest I Do". For their 2016 release, Blue & Lonesome, they recorded a version of Reed's "Little Rain".

The Yardbirds recorded an instrumental dedicated to Reed, "Like Jimmy Reed Again", which was released on the "definitive edition" of their album Having a Rave Up.

The Animals considered Reed one of their main sources of inspiration and recorded versions of I Ain't Got You and Bright Lights, Big City.

Neil Young recorded a version of "Baby, What You Want Me to Do" for his 1996 album Broken Arrow.

Van Morrison's group Them covered "Bright Lights, Big City" and "Baby, What You Want Me to Do", both of which are on the album The Story of Them Featuring Van Morrison.

"Big Boss Man", sung by Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, was regularly performed by the Grateful Dead in the 1960s and early 1970s and appears on their live album Grateful Dead (the "skull and roses" album). It was revived by Jerry Garcia with the Dead in the 1980s. Bob Weir of the Dead also played it with the band Kingfish in the mid-1970s and, more recently, with Ratdog. Phil Lesh also plays it with Phil & Friends. The Grateful Dead also performed "Baby What You Want Me to Do", with vocals by Brent Mydland.

Elvis Presley recorded several of Reed's songs, having a hit with "Big Boss Man" in 1967 and recording several performances of "Baby, What You Want Me to Do" for his 1968 TV program. (Presley's 1964 hit "Ain't That Lovin' You Baby" is a different song from that recorded by Reed.) "Baby, What You Want Me to Do" was also covered by Wishbone Ash on their 1972 album Live Dates and was frequently performed by Etta James as well as Hot Tuna. Johnny and Edgar Winter performed it live in 1975 and included it on their album Together.

Reed's recordings of "Big Boss Man" and "Bright Lights, Big City" are among the "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll" in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Omar Kent Dykes and Jimmie Vaughan released the album On the Jimmy Reed Highway as a tribute to Reed.

Bill Cosby covered four of Reed's songs, "Bright Lights, Big City", "Big Boss Man", "Hush Hush" and "Aw Shucks, Hush Your Mouth", for his 1967 album, Silver Throat: Bill Cosby Sings.

The Steve Miller Band covered five of Reed's songs: "You're So Fine", on the 1968 album Sailor, and "I Wanna Be Loved (But by Only You)", "Big Boss Man", "Caress Me Baby" and "Ain't That Lovin' You Baby", on the 1986 album Living in the 20th Century.

The Blues Brothers recorded Reed's I Ain't Got You for their third album, Made in America.

Neil Young has played Reed's music to the audience before his concerts.

Billy Childish and his band Thee Headcoats released an EP of Reed covers, The Jimmy Reed Experience, for Get Hip Records in 1997.


Jimmy Reed Wikipedia