Honey Boy Edwards died Monday at the age of 96. He toured and played up until the end. I got to meet and see him play numerous times in Mississippi. I was even featured in a documentary on his life — “Honey Boy” — about ten years ago. He traveled with Robert Johnson and played with many of the greats later in Chicago. He played simple songs in a deeply emotional way. His sweet, gravely voice was unforgettable.
Everytime I’d see him, I’d remind him we shared the same birthday — June 28th. He thought that was pretty cool.
The Chicago Tribune adds: Born in Shaw, Mississippi in 1915, Edwards’ father, a guitarist and violinist, bought him a guitar for $4 from a plantation worker. It led to his leaving home at age 14 to travel with bluesman Big Joe Williams.
Edwards went on to play with a number of noted musicians, including Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter and Muddy Waters. Among Edwards’ hit songs were “Long Tall Woman Blues,” “Gamblin Man” and “Just Like Jesse James.”
Edwards won a 2008 Grammy for traditional blues album and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award in 2010.
A funeral is planned for Thursday.
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