● April 25, 1923 Albert King was born in Indianola, Mississippi. Born as Albert Nelson, he was famed for his powerful string-bending style and his soulful, smoky vocals. He carved his own indelible niche in the blues hierarchy by creating a deep, dramatic sound that was widely imitated by both blues and rock guitarists. When he made his first record in 1953-after B.B. had become a national blues star-Albert Nelson became Albert King, and by 1959 he was billed in newspaper ads as “B.B. King’s brother.” He also sometimes used the same nickname as B.B-“Blues Boy”-and named his guitar Lucy (B.B.’s instrument was named Lucille). Eric Clapton has said that his work on the 1967 Cream hit “Strange Brew” and throughout the album Disraeli Gears was inspired by King
● April 26, 1926 JB Hutto was born in Blackville, South Carolina. Born as Joseph Benjamin, he was influenced by Elmore James and became known for his slide guitar playing and declamatory style of singing. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1985. He was the uncle of Lil Ed Williams, who has carried on in much of his tradition.
● April 26, 1886 Ma Rainey was born as Gertrude Pridgett. She was one of the earliest professional black blues singers and one of the first generation of blues singers to record. She was billed as the “Mother of the Blues” and was known for her powerful vocal abilities, energetic disposition, majestic phrasing, and a “moaning” style of singing.She was named to the Blues Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Rock n Roll HoF in 1990.
● April 28, 1934 Charley Patton passed away near Holy Ridge, Mississippi. Patton was considered by many to be the “Father of the Delta Blues”, he created an enduring body of American music and inspired most Delta blues musicians. The musicologist Robert Palmer considered him one of the most important American musicians of the twentieth century.
● April 30, 1983 Muddy Waters passed away. The “father of modern Chicago blues”. His grandmother, Della Grant, raised him after his mother died shortly after his birth. Grandma gave him the nickname “Muddy” at an early age because he loved to play in the muddy water of nearby Deer Creek. “Waters” was added years later, as he began to play harmonica and perform locally in his early teens. The remains of the cabin on Stovall Plantation where he lived in his youth are now at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He had his first introduction to music in church: “I used to belong to church. I was a good Baptist, singing in the church. So I got all of my good moaning and trembling going on for me right out of church,” he recalled.