Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b Marion Walter Jacobs, 1 May '30, Marksville LA; d 15 Feb. '68, Chicago) Blues harmonica, probably the greatest of all. Studied harmonica from age eight; later ran away from home, played clubs, radio (King Biscuit Time, Mother's Best Flour Hour '44--6), to Chicago '47. Played in Maxwell Street for tips, his jazz-infl. phrasing soon bringing work as sideman with Tampa Red, Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Slim; recorded for small labels '47--50; on Muddy Waters classics incl. 'Baby Please Don't Go' '52, 'Got My Mojo Working' '57, many more. Own hits on Checker incl. ten entries in R&B chart, all but two in top ten; instrumental 'Juke' '52 and 'My Babe' '55 were no. 1. He also recorded with Otis Rush '57, toured with group the Jukes, toured Europe with R&B package '62, with Rolling Stones '64, many other tours, festivals. Died of blood clot following a fight in the street. CDs incl. Windy City Blues on Magnum with Rush, The Blues World Of on Delmark, several on Chess incl. two-CD sets.