Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Little Smokey Smothers passes away at age 71

Chicago blues guitarist and vocalist Albert Abraham "Little Smokey" Smothers, 71, died on November 20, 2010, according to Alligator Records.

Smothers, who served as a mentor to musicians including Paul Butterfield and Elvin Bishop, died of natural causes at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Chicago.

According to an Alligator news release, Smothers was born into a musical family in Tchula, Mississippi on January 2, 1939 and moved to Chicago as a teenager. His older brother, guitarist Otis "Big Smokey" Smothers became a well-known Chicago blues artist. Little Smokey took up guitar and before long was recording and performing with artists like Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, his soul singer cousin Lee "Shot" Williams and others.

Concentrating primarily on his instrumental skills, he toured and led bands playing locally in Chicago's South Side blues clubs beginning in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s. He partially retired to raise a family, but returned to blues in 1978. He spent most of the 1980s playing small Chicago clubs and touring occasionally as a sideman, including as lead guitarist with the Legendary Blues Band.

For more information, including funeral arrangements, visit the Alligator Records Web site.


Joe Ballor said...

I saw Little Smokey Smothers perform as a solo act at Wise Fools Pub in Chicago quite a few years ago, opeining for the Kinsey Report. Unfortunately, the audience did not give him much respect. May he rest in peace.
Joe Ballor

Krule Music said...

This is a great real and traditional blues blog. I hope you post more articles. Love your article on Little Smokey, not many people talk about him.

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