RIP: Hubert Sumlin, Blues Traveler, Dead At 80

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Hubert Sumlin, who made his name as the slash-and-burn guitarist for Chicago blues great Howlin’ Wolf before embarking on an illustrious solo career, died Sunday in a hospital in Wayne, N.J., reportedly of heart failure. The Chicago bluesman had turned 80 years old on Nov. 16. A week later, Rolling Stone magazine unveiled a list citing him as one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. MORE

NEW YORK TIMES: Born in 1931 in Greenwood, Miss., Mr. Sumlin, who took up the guitar at age 6, first met his own musical mentor, Howlin’ Wolf, at a roadhouse nearby. “I got next to the roadhouse, and I stacked me some Coca-Cola crates up” next to a window, Mr. Sumlin said. “I had to have been maybe 11, 12. Somebody snatched them crates,” and he tumbled into the roadhouse, where Howlin’ Wolf, whose real name was Chester Burnett, invited him to sit onstage, he said. Years later, Mr. Burnett asked Mr. Sumlin to move to Chicago and play guitar in his band. The relationship lasted 27 years, until Mr. Burnett’s death in 1976. Since then, rock legends, including Mr. Richards and Mr. Clapton, have cited Mr. Sumlin as an influence, and in 2003, Rolling Stone magazine listed him at No. 65 on its list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Mr. Richards and the others “can run a ring around me as guitar players, but they respect me,” Mr. Sumlin said. “The Stones — they’re nice people. They came to Wolf’s house because, you know, they heard us doing ‘Little Red Rooster,’ ” which they subsequently recorded, Mr. Sumlin said. MORE

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